Here You Are

By Jenna Zapalac, Guest Contributor

Angry.
It’s been a rough day.
You’re bursting with emotion,
have so many things to say you can’t remember them all.
You’re finally alone.
Quiet.
Peaceful.
You feel like screaming,
shattering the tranquility of the serene lake
and sending a ripple around the world
because you have something to say,
something to yell at the top of your lungs:
“World, you suck!”
And you have words
and stories to prove it,
and every word of anger and heartbreak and beauty, too.
It all flows out,
out of your brain,
maybe off your tongue,
or off your pen into a notebook.
When you’re finished
you’ve let out all your pain, anxiety, sorrow
and created a song, a story, a poem,
a masterpiece,
a thing of beauty.

Now here you are:
staring at this piece of worthless crap in your hands
because it is everything you’ve ever felt.
But it has no purpose
other than allowing you to vent
because if all these emotions
bottled up inside you
ever leave this room, this notebook, this mind,
they will be ridiculed,
attacked,
mocked,
humiliated.
They will lose all beauty they ever possessed,
all grace and intelligence.

So here you are:
wanting so badly
to share this feeling with the world,
to inspire people,
to make a difference.
But how can one change a world where change is too hard,
too much work?
How can one make a difference in a world where different is a bad thing,
where despite wanting so badly to be different, unique, special
you’ll never actually be
because it will not be rewarding—
at least, not according to the you who you are right now,
or are pretending to be
because if we can’t see from the perspective of someone unique
how can you be them?
And if you can’t be someone unique
how can you see from their perspective?

So here we are:
trapped
in this never ending circle of risks and reputations
where nothing grows or evolves.
What makes anything special, if everything’s the same?
How can there truly be love
of anyone or thing
if everything is the same?
There is no beauty in similarity.

So here you are:
wanting to be diverse,
to change the world,
inspire others,
feeling inspired by your sudden clarity about the world you live in,
your sudden ability to see the world as it is
and your want to act on it,
to spread this vision,
before it disappears.
And you go back to being normal.
Same.
Monotone.

So here you are:
conflicted,
at a crossroads between being unique and being accepted,
being who you want to be and who others want you to be.
Or do they even care?
Share this poem.
In your dream everyone who hears it will be in awe.
In your “reality” they’ll all laugh and whisper and give strange looks
or maybe they’ll feel it, too.
For a moment,
a fleeting moment
that when they leave the beauty’s presence
will not return
not in time to be shared.

So here you are.

Do you take the risk
and maybe change the world
or do you keep it inside
like it’s always been
and let it eat away at you
until all of that vision is gone
and you can no longer find beauty
in difference
and your alone time turns into a time for texting and posting
rather than singing, writing, or dreaming
and this poem
turns into a long forgotten memory
a whisper of a thing you used to be
and you have become
one of those people who laugh at and whisper about it
in the new reality?

So here you are.

Share this poem—
and who cares what happens!
You took a risk.
If it’s meant to be forgotten
then so be it.
If they laugh,
then so be it.
They’ll move on to a new subject in a couple of days.
But this will be out in the open, no longer inside of you.

So here you are.

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