Anika Rose

United Kingdom

Message from Writer

I hope that even if we do not understand each other's words, we can find beauty and peace within them.

My Years

July 16, 2020


I’m eleven
and my hands are shaking
as I cross that road for the first time.
My throat closes up and I feel
the rapid beating of my heart.
I wish I only felt that the first time.
In my head I’m crying, screaming,
Go home. Go home. Turn around and don’t walk in.
But I walk in anyway.
Everything was okay.
I’m in my form room,
seeing so many new faces,
then something pushes me forward and there I am
in the thick of it all.
I'd never been in that place before.

I’m twelve
and defined by a character I haven’t dropped since.
I can feel my soul out there,
just beyond my reach.
I always tell the harsh truth,
and then I stop.
And I dream - god, I dreamed so much.
I thought of futures I could have, and 
places I want to go, and
the person I want to be.
I dreamed, and dreamed, and dreamed.
I haven’t dreamt like that since.

I’m thirteen
and my perfectionism still hasn’t hit me.
I remember messing up the buttons on my coat one morning,
and it's all just too much,
and suddenly I'm
crying and screaming silently until my voice is hoarse.
People are cruel,
and I can see it. 
I can see bits of their character that are ugly and horrible
and I can see the hate in the world
and my faith in humanity goes.

I’m fourteen
and constantly on edge.
I feel stressed and sick all the time.
No test is perfect
but I don’t work harder anyway.
I am pulled in different directions
and sometimes
I just want to
I feel damaged
and misunderstood.
I can’t use my words at all.
I know the future is there but every time
I close my eyes and try, try 
to imagine it
there’s just emptiness.
I don’t think about what that means.

I’m fifteen
and am not good enough.
I am not kind
or smart
or anything.
I have no talent.
I am arrogant
and rude
and people don’t like me.
My hands are always shaking
and my heart rate is always high.
and I try
all of time,
but it’s too much.
I resent the walls of the school
and I can feel them closing in.
I am lost
and I can’t see anything.
I can’t see the future
and I’m meant to have it all figured out
and really I have no idea
and it’s just a matter of time
before everyone realises it too.

I’m sixteen
and am so lonely.
I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time,
but I’ve lost something.
My problems and troubles are
locked away inside.
But I am curious
and hardworking
and finally,
It doesn’t matter that I can’t talk
about ‘deep stuff’,
my heart is light
and my laugh is bright
and I am happy.

I’m seventeen
and the worst I’ve been in a long time.
I know I am
not well-liked
and irritating
and too talkative.
But the loneliness creeps back
and all my thoughts seem to pile up on one another
and suddenly I’m crying at school again
and taking walks on my own.
I tap out the same piano piece
over and over
until I can close my eyes and get it all right.
The sound is all wrong though - 
it sounds messy and unpolished -
and I just can't tell if it's beautiful or not anymore.
I flinch when my friends are angry
and I stop talking about the things I love.
I’m closed off again,
and I’m drowning.
Then 2 rejections come.
And I’ve let everyone down
and I don’t know how to talk about it so
I shut it away.
And my thoughts keep spiralling downwards
and I’m not even trying to fight them off anymore
and I’ve stopped trying.
I’ve stopped smiling.

It all fades away a little,
and I’m happy and joyful again.
I’m competitive
and intelligent
and imagining the future again.
I fall back in love with life again.

And then 5 more rejections come.

And suddenly all my hopes and dreams
are blown apart
and I can’t dream of life even six months ahead
and I’m crying so so so much.
But to my friends I’m strong
to my family I am strong
to the world I will be strong.
And everything is locked away again
and I wonder if I will ever trust someone
with all the worst parts of myself.

It’s okay though:
I can see the sunlight shining through my window
and I know that the world is beautiful.
That there are beautiful people
and there will be beautiful moments
and that I can be beautiful.
This is only mostly accurate - I have embellished moments and tried not to go into too much detail for certain moments. I've only taken the worst bits of every year - there are so many good things I could write about but this comes more easily to me!


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