I have several friends sending children off to college soon and came across this poem in my journal so I thought I would share it. While I might not agree with it all ( I don't think spoons in the freezer has ever worked for me. I have not defined myself "hot" ever. I've never smoked a cigarette let alone a cigar.), there are some great truths here. I think I'll see if I can add to this with some things that I have learned. Enjoy!
I learned that putting spoons in the freezer when you’re crying will later soothe your puffy eyes
I learned that getting away from the person who makes you cry will, eventually, make you feel better.
I learned that my eyes are grey, not blue
That they shift with the light and with my moods
I learned that this makes me beautiful
Even when my eyes are as stormy as my soul.
I learned that I hate the word “hot”
I learned that I have defined a large portion of my life by it.
I learned the difference between a true apology and a request for absolution
I learned that the former is rare and the latter, much too common
I learned that I have the right to walk away from both.
I learned that I have rights, even as a woman. Especially as a woman.
I learned that rock bottom is never actually bottom, and that asking for help is better than muddling through
I learned that muddling a drink is unnecessary when you learn to like the taste of straight whisky
I learned that whisky sometimes gets you closer to bottom.
I learned that discomfort is powerful.
I learned that thunderstorms are soothing
And that sunny days are just nervous energy bursting from the universe’s soul.
I learned that sunburn hurts just as much as the boy on the beach who
tells you that you look anything less than “skinny” in a bathing suit
I learned that “skinny” is more painful than it looks
And that a bathing suit is meant for playing in the water so much that you forget you are getting burned.
I learned that cigarettes sting and that cigars are smoother
But that smoking either will elicit more attention than both are worth.
I learned that sex can feel good
And that it feels best when it’s actually consensual.
I learned that speaking against the consensus is sometimes a good idea
I learned that my ideas are worth voicing, even when they earn me a jab in the ribs, a shove, a reputation
I learned that reputations are both more and less important than they seem
Depending upon the circles of people you choose to esteem in your life.
I learned that having people in my life that I do not respect is, in fact, a waste of my time
I learned that my time is precious because it is mine, because I can choose what I want to do with it.
I learned that taking a nap is sometimes just as valuable as taking
that hour to study, or get lunch with a friend, or look up poetry by
authors I secretly aspire to become
I learned that secret aspirations are just bold dreams divided from the truth by a thin line of privacy and shame
I learned that words are in my veins and that I bleed my existence every time I put pen to paper.
I learned that four years is not enough time to know myself.
But I learned that I am worth knowing.