As part of GloPoWriMo, I’ll be writing poetry every day through the month of April, based on prompts that are everywhere on the internet. Today I’ve found a prompt that particularly fascinated me: Airplane Poetry Movement told me to Write a Letter to my 12-year-old self, so here goes.
You only. Listen up.
Yes, all the cool kids are getting girlfriends,
But don’t care about it.
Your single life isn’t boring, because,
One day you’ll understand the concept of being a third-wheel,
And you’ll realize you’re a seventh-wheel, or ninth-wheel,
But your bad jokes will allow you to be in every couple’s company,
And never feel excluded.
Yes, all the cool kids have videogames,
But you have a laptop and a piano.
Hunt for USB cable,
Open a SoundCloud account,
And go crazy.
Yes, all the cool kids use expletives,
But don’t fall into that trap again,
Because those words can pierce a wounded soul and push them
To a point of no return.
Open up a dictionary,
And learn spellings of words that can help you acknowledge your mistakes,
Because having an ego will ruin you.
But language will take you places.
Open up a map and explore your country.
Go outside and speak in your native tongue, and feel every syllable,
Set a curve on people’s faces,
Open up a map and chart the distance
That your father travels every time he wants to see you
And respond to his messages with more than “nm”
Ask him if he’s eaten
Because he forgets to eat meals in his
Endless bid to ensure you can eat unlimited buffets.
Open up an Encyclopedia, and buy some Books,
Because knowledge is the sharpened edge that will
Help you combat other insecurities.
Go downstairs and sit with your mother,
Because sitting in college you will miss her audience and the fact
That she is the only person who understands your confusion
But sometimes withholds her advice,
To make you independent.
Teach her about your favourite things,
As you open up your map to new pastures,
Distance will replace frames of reference.
Tell everybody you love them,
Not because you won’t see them tomorrow,
In your orange shirt and your blue shorts,
But because everyone deserves to know they are cherished.
And maybe that will keep you in touch with everyone,
Even when your rigid sense of morality burns bridges.
Don’t stop arguing,
Even when people say you’re arguing for no reason,
Especially when people say you’re arguing for no reason,
Because logic is a tool that is best explained and understood,
Not dismissed in a fit of rage or sadness.
Remember every conversation.
The digital world will soon take over your life
And your words will travel far,
But nothing will ever replace the sound of people’s voices,
Heard in face-to-face communication,
Especially when you see them once in six months,
Once a year,
Or never again.
Remember every conversation,
Your understanding of people will be better for it,
And on a cold, frosty night,
You can rely on the warmth words made you feel.
Don’t stop dreaming.
Not everything will go your way,
And you will cry on numerous occasions:
Bunking days of school to avoid pity.
But your dreams will never blow into smithereens.
They’ll merely shatter,
So you can reach out to the tape in your pencilbox,
Patch your dreams back together,
Take heart at a valiant attempt,
And go again.
Because miracles do happen,
And optimism and work is the only way to trudge through grey walls.