I had lunch with a few friends from high school today, some of whom I haven’t seen in years - some not since we graduated, all the way back in 2010. We caught up mostly in the ways girl who haven’t seen each other in a while do, and talked through boyfriends and fake IDs and school, all safe and noncontroversial. One of my friends asked what I was majoring in and, when I responded history and Chinese, the Chinese part always some kind of talisman against Asian-mom-disappointment, expressed surprise.
“I thought you were going to be a writer,” she said, careless, and I laughed it off, saying that it had just been a high school pipe dream, that I wanted different things now, that, actually, I didn’t even write much anymore.
But sometimes I look back at my poetry, like I did today - not all of it is good, obviously (in fact, most of it is not very good) - and I miss it a lot. I wrote this three years ago when I was 17, the winter of my last year of high school. In a lot of ways, that was one of the worst school years of my life, not necessarily grades-wise but personal issues-wise. The following school year, my first in college, was wonderful if only in comparison. I haven’t written much since, and I always joke about Iowa making me soft and complacent, but I wonder if it isn’t at least a little bit true. I was angrier, more annoying, and way more thoughtless at 17, but at least I did something productive with it. I was more idealistic, and lazier, too - I did want to be a writer, but never enough to subject my poetry to real criticism. I always wanted to perform my poetry, but never enough to stick it out through a workshop after the first day. To be fair, I still don’t.
I’m not sure what I want to say - I’m a little more introspective now that I’m older, and I also take myself more seriously (gag/lol). I write more of these weird pseudo journal entries for the internet which, in the long run, is probably better than writing pretentious poetry for the internet though that has also had the unfortunate side effect of me no longer writing pretentious poetry even for myself.