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by Jules Sherwood 2 years ago in performance poetry
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By: Jules Sherwood

This is a familiar scene: late at night, tired eyes and blue light on your face from the screen you’ve been staring at (glaring at) for the past several hours.

Why did I leave this so late?

And as you berate yourself the minutes slip by, and this cycle of procrastination and exasperation drills into your mind until the only thing you can think is: why, why, why?

But you shove your questions to the side because there simply isn’t enough time.

Exhaustion has become the occupation of anyone afraid of being called ‘lazy.’ It is a toxic commendation that exemplifies the reckless and irresponsible, and scoffs at those who dare to sleep.

And as the words blur together on the page, you cannot tell whether it’s from your weary eyes, or from the speed lines of an era passing you by.


Because burnout is the only path you know and so you’ll pace over it again and again, until you can’t see out of the deep trench you’ve marched yourself into,

And creating a new path becomes an uphill climb.


Because we consume energy with no more thought than we do resources. Consequences? Nothing more than a mythology that we refuse to acknowledge.

And when we need to make our apologies, when we need to say “sorry” for stumbling, “sorry” for the typos, “sorry” for forgetting, “sorry” for snapping at you,

You will assume that these mistakes occur because you are not doing enough.

But you are enough.

No one will vilify you worse than you, but I promise, you don’t deserve it, and isn’t it ironic how vying for the respect of others causes us to lose respect for ourselves?

Grinding is not the only way to get where you want to go, so let it go. There is no shame in staking a claim on your own well-being.

Why? Because you don’t deserve to cry yourself to sleep at night. Anxiety should not be akin to normality, and there is nothing worse than a falling out with yourself. So pick yourself up and make this familiar: I am enough.

performance poetry

About the author

Jules Sherwood

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