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A poem about defining yourself

I come from a past

I come from a past that, like every other human being, you wouldn't know from just looking at me.

My happiness is genuine

yet it is fleeting

and that is why, like everyone else,

I sometimes call it fake.

Underneath my smile

and your smile

is a thousand stories of pain

and maybe I have a few more than you do

but doesn't everyone think that?

I used to revel in my hardship by appreciating every shocked face that I greeted with the rehearsed tragedy of my childhood.

but I realized even I was getting tired of the story

the past may have made me who I am today but it does not define me.

I define me.

I define me with every decision and action I take in the moment I take it.

I've decided who I want to be,

and it is not a simple sum of events.

Every human being is an unique experience

so I'm not competing for the best backstory

I'm competing for the best gift

the present.

I refuse to waste my time giving ever passerby a recap so that maybe they will understand.

You don't need them to understand.

You don't need to explain your existence.

You already have the right to be who you are.

I'm guilty myself of caring too much about what others think

But I am constantly reminded who I am

I remind myself who I am.

I come from a past.

I am a present.

I have a future.

My experience,

your experience,

is a prequel

a luxury

to the main story

and I don't know about you

but I'd rather live

than waste my life explaining.

slam poetry
Elizabeth Biz Diedrick
Elizabeth Biz Diedrick
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Elizabeth Biz Diedrick
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