Today I drove home to my family’s farm for the long weekend, and spent a few hours digging through old journals, binders, and assignment folders from my school days.
One folder I found was a Poetry Journal from 2004; I would have been 13 years old, entering grade 8. My English teacher was Ms. Noreen Keats, who encouraged us and instilled in us a love for language and learning.
Our curriculum for the poetry section included learning the difference between a haiku and a limerick, how to write a couplet or a free verse poem, and how to count syllables, among many other things.
As I was sifting through all these memories, I found one poem that I just couldn’t help but smile at.
One of the last assignments in our poetry curriculum was to write an autobiographical poem.
Here is mine, written by myself at 13 years old.
Caring, loving, generous, tender,
Sister of Tom and Cliff,
Lover of new socks, the outdoors, and laughter,
Who feels happy when a smile is shown, at home when with friends, and joyful in springtime,
Who needs love, God, and friends,
Who gives smiles, encouragement, and a shoulder to cry on,
Who fears small places, ladders, and the end of something beautiful,
Who would like to see others excel, friends find love, and the seven wonders of the world,
Who lives in a white farm house around here,
It amazes me how over the course of the past 8 years, some things have changed dramatically, while others have completely stayed the same.
Tom and Cliff are still my brothers.
I still love new socks, the outdoors, and laughter.
I still fear the end of something beautiful.
I still would like to see the seven wonders of the world.
And so on and so forth with many of the things I wrote when I was 13.
And yet, there is so much more of me that I haven’t unlocked yet. So much more that I will become, and be, and discover.
And yet, some things that I valued when I was 13 have become less important as time goes by. Now that I have a few more years under my belt, I have discovered other things that I love, need, and desire.
Funny how time and experience shapes us like nothing else can.
Maybe I should write another autobiographical poem, and lock it away to read 8 years from today.
I’ll be 29.
I wonder where I will be, what I will be doing, who I will be with.
One thing I know for certain, though; I will still be me.