A fool's gold path winds from door to door, from A to A, crowded
Yet deserted in heart.
It sends the bright, the talented, the “soon-to-be-successful” into the land of expectation.
To a world where the weight of humanity balances on their shoulders,
Where impossible standards glare from towering pedestals,
Where the unit of success is a combination of three simple lines,
And the test of “brilliance” glorifies an irrelevant four digit number.
But we are all to stumble down this path
In feigned humility
If we think we can know a world of bright lights.
And when we cannot walk any more,
When our bodies become old
Our minds do what they’re told
And our spirits start to fold…
But I choose not to idolize this obsession with advancement,
This life of endless enhancement,
Of critical, invasive assessment.
This portrait of worth through success alone
Is not a mirror.
It is the antiquated symbol of oppression that ruled the lives of my predecessors
But becomes invisible under the shadow of my new revelation—
I cannot be controlled,
And I will not be bound by your alleged promise of merit.
But rather, I take the path in defiance.
A life of confident assurance in my own conviction
that I can be only who I want to be.
And this conviction, my symbol of rebellion,
Acts as a spark of light at the end of the path, by which I must turn my gaze to approach.
Otherwise the weight of your mitigations, your world’s expectations, my own condemnations, will surely bear me down,
And I will walk no more.