People stare at me in shock,
their little well-moisturised mouths agape
when I tell them that I dropped out of not one,
but three universities
and all before the age of 23.
I don’t know why they would be shocked, though.
They now know about my anxiety, panic attacks, inability to
concentrate, focus, talk, breathe –
So why would they be shocked that
I ducked out of an institution
which judged me
much more than I could take,
more even than I did to myself as I
glanced at my failing face
in the mascara marked mirror of my halls,
not three times,
but only once a day.
It’s like they pretend to understand,
as they try to take my shaking hand,
to guide me to their paper houses of
of no essays,
no looming deadlines,
no having to be a fun, up for anything
now that I’m away from mum,
(but not too bright, that’s not cool)
straight out of school.
But they don’t, they clearly don’t –
because as I hand them their groceries to pack
like rush-hour central line knackered commuters
into their new shining company cars,
these low self-esteem beaters,
they look at me with shock.
Little mouths agape
at the girl who once effortlessly moved her teachers’ hands
into writing A, A, A star,
make no mistake
on everything she wrote,
And is now packing their groceries
into those new double price plastic bags-
their handles I think,
could be used as rope.
Because it’s one thing to smile
knowingly and nod,
to say to the person who can barely stand to talk,
that we all have black bored days you know–
you just have to jazz them up with white chalk,
and then pick yourself up,
don’t worry about those deadlines,
i’ll be your lifeline and
we’ll walk the line they never taught.
But it’s another completely,
to completely accept
that my psychology
led to my physiology
out of those heavy doors of opportunity.
I haven’t yet got a piece of paper
which measures the grand sum of
all of my achievements before the age of 23,
even after attending
one, two, three
But I have my life.
As it is now.
And that’s enough.