Burning right down to the lungs,
right through every muscle,
It’s hard to stay afloat when you can’t even bob your head up to breathe.
They wanted a winner.
Born and bred.
Throwing a child to the deep end of the pool
does not a winner make.
I struggled with pushing myself forward but all I got was
water up the nose,
in the mouth,
filling my ears.
Their voices muted
but still reverberating in my skull.
Forward. Forward. Win.
I could never be the person they wanted me to be.
But damn it all if I didn’t try.
I lived for them.
I breathed for them.
I studied myself half to the grave for them.
I pushed myself beyond limits I didn’t even think existed only to find that the finish line was further
than when I started.
It was never ending torture,
chasing everyone else’s dreams.
Ignoring my own inner voice that screamed,
This isn’t right!
This isn’t why you’re here!
Why am I here?
It is a question of free will.
A question that I never dared to ask myself.
What do I want?
I find myself at the bottom.
Air fresh out.
Pushed down by the very weight of the water I tried to fight.
I am not a canvas to be painted on.
I am not blank page.
I am not an idle worshipper at their feet.
I am the artist,
I am the writer,
I am the temple.
And so with every breath,
with every sigh,
with every essence of my being,
I do the impossible.
I do what I was never taught to.
I do what will gain me all their disapproval and push them all to silence.