I am not proud, though some perceive me so
It is but a lie.
The mirror, she sees my true form,
And reflects onto me:
Drooping eyes from the failure within,
A cowered back at the sight of the mountains to come,
Stuttering words in the face of the unknown.
I hide, out of shame, out of fear
To be seen weak, to be seen less than perfect
Friends, family, no one can know.
I turn away from the image the mirror projects
and slather on a smile that almost fools even me.
Clinging to the falsified image of a happy face,
I cannot bear to release to prying eyes the truth behind my facade.
If one were to know of
My desperate need to be viewed as normal,
My hunched back slaving over what others think comes naturally,
I would be revealed for the sham I am.
I am not proud.
I am terrified.
I am insignificant.
Every moment not dedicated to reaching my goals is a moment wasted.
The world set a bar for me,
Expectations from family members, my vulturous peers.
“Shoot for the stars,” he says.
“You can make your dreams come true,” she says.
“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything,” he says.
“If he can do it, you can do it,” she says.
Aim high, reach high.
But, it is so much easier to say a few words.
Actions, actual progress and change,
Takes power, takes soul.
Every fiber of my being dedicated to reaching these goals.
I don’t even know anymore.
Obtain straight A’s,
Be able to support myself and my family,
Be somebody and leave my mark on the world--
Are they mine or are they yours?
Are they simply things I’ve plucked out of the air
Because they are what I think you expect of me?
Day by day, I lose myself,
Shedding the pieces of me,
Molding into what I think everyone wants me to be.
I am terrified of failing,
Tears shedding constantly,
As I break down from the strain of these invisible expectations that even I myself have built.
They surround me, caging me in.
I search for escape.
Clawing, Scratching, until all that remains are bloody fingers;
Yet, I am still not free.
I am not proud.