Persuasion for this poem:
I am not a poet. This is, technically speaking, not a polished poem. It is far from a piece that would be published in a book or anthology. So why write it? Why share it? I write because I feel. And I share it because it is hard, to share my feelings. We live in a society where everything is hidden, where how you appear is more important than how you are. Now, at 21, I speak freely of my history with depression. I discuss how it affected my studies, my relationships. At 15, 16, 17, I hid it. I smiled and joked and I hid in the toilet to cry so that I could return to normal society ten minutes later claiming to have had stomach troubles. Because tears are even more of an embarrassing taboo than diarrhea.
Sharing this poem, this messy jumble of thoughts, feelings and memories, is a little embarrassing. It would be easier to hide away. I’m not a poet. It’s not like anyone was expecting me to post something for Youth Day. But the thing is, it doesn’t need to be perfect. I don’t need to be perfect. What I say and what I share is a part of me. And however, they choose to communicate it, everyone should have a chance to express how they feel. To every young person with something to say (that’s all of you, whether you know it or not), Happy Youth Day.
Poet: Frances Ang
15 year old me.
Front page featured image by Mark Frost, from Pixabay