Before deciding to travel to South East Asia to teach English and work at a dog shelter, I was working as a legal assistant for a divorce law firm.
I hated my life. It felt like I was renting out my body and my mind to a law firm, whose sole goal was to attain a certain amount of billable hours each month, in order to make a profit.
I was sucked into this rabbit hole of looking at myself in terms of comparison with other people, and in terms of what looks good on a resume. It is a scary rabbit hole to fall into, and some people spend their whole lives unable to get out of that hole.
I wrote this poem in order to assure myself that there is a difference between my true self and my ego—to refine and filter out that what is true.
I Am Not a Poem.
I am not my size, my outfit, or my muscle mass.
I am not who I date.
I am not anything related to rank, status, or class.
I am not my level of education or my sexual orientation.
I am not the number of “likes” I receive on Facebook.
—or any other source of external validation.
I am not the color of my skin or the color of my hair.
I am not assertive or shy, strong or weak, feminine, or masculine.
Those are just different tools, different hats that can be worn at any time.
All of these things that people flaunt at dinner parties,
like peacocks showcasing their feathers, I am not.
When I take away all of these things I am not, my heart is more at ease.
I am whatever is left that links every single human being together on this Earth.
Our shared humanity.
We all have the same worth.
Author: Amy Trahan
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Social Editor: Leah Sugerman