They said,
Not everyone can be the best.

And you thought,
I’ll show them.

Fast forward many months of struggle and self doubt, shame and regret
Late nights, highs and lows
In retrospect, a slide reel of a story so predictable and

Maybe they were right.

But I wish you hadn’t said that.

And as delegate to my future,
You represent a system that
Has no faith in me.

You suggest
That life is a disappointment,
That this is a race,
And to get ready to

Always wish to win.

Not long ago you also said,
Take care of yourself or you will burn out.
You must practice self care to be human and be empathetic

Here are your checkmarks.

Which is it?
What is your meaning?

Should I run with all my might to a sun always just past the horizon, burning my skin, my eyelashes, my insides made hollow as all fuel has dissipated?

Or do I bend my knees in supplication,
Work what I think, you think, is reasonable?
Sleep too much, smile in moderation, trajectory predetermined,
I am so bored already.

We need no heroes
But in language framed in downward-slanting futures
I can’t help to want to save
and be saved.

I wish instead,
You said

You came here for a reason.

To not forget
That people will doubt you

To chase achievement without context will make you

But remember,
You came here for a reason.

And that I decide
What I need.

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