This poem was inspired by something I feel most teenagers and young adults deal with at some point in their lives. It’s a complex feeling of wanting to be so different than what you are, and missing who you used to be; not feeling good enough in the place where you thought everything would be perfect. We pick ourselves apart from the outside in and realize that the pieces just don’t add up. Sometimes our future selves aren’t all we wanted us to be, and I needed to write about it.
“The Beauty of Introspection”
I brandish my weapon;
I scrutinize every bit of myself, scowling at everything I do and don’t see.
I begin my attack, merciless and swift,
Picking myself apart.
You aren’t even that pretty.
I pluck another hair from my brow.
Lose a little weight, that should fix it.
The false hope means the hair will grow back faster.
No cell, no atom is exempt from my scathing gaze and self-deprecation.
I’ll pull every part of myself away, starting with my moustache…
Different mirror. Same promises. Same lies.
If I were anyone but me, I’d love myself. I promise I would.
But I’m not. I’m only me, heart and skin as bloody and raw as the tortured zits on my face.
It hurts now, my prodding and digging at the same spots, the same wounds, but I am an addict.
I thrive on the little wounds dug by my tweezers, by my off-hand jabs and criticisms.
That little bit of dopamine was enough to get me hooked. Or maybe I just like knowing I can still feel.
I may want to look plastic, but I don’t want to be numb…
What do I trade? Beauty and numbness, or humanity and imperfection?
I am on the boarder of infallible and insanity and everyone can see where I’m headed. They just allow me to keep looking through a fogged mirror, which I tell myself I’m grateful for.
Why am I so desperate to be told what I think I want to hear? Why am I so eager to change for everyone but myself?
My fingers tremble as I put the tweezers down and I turn away from my reflection before I can see it. I don’t want to see what’s become of me, no matter how pretty people say it is.
If I am honest with myself, which is rare,
I miss the extra hair.
I miss the crystal-clear mirrors.
I miss not being mad me all the time.
I miss myself.
I miss me,
But the hair never grows back the same.
PRR Writer, Bryahnna Butler