This is a poem that I wrote in 8th grade that I recited at many speech competitions. It tells the story of my 8th-grade year and the person that I used to be. It holds a pretty deep place in my heart.
And I’ve grown quite a bit since then.
Once upon a time
There lived a young girl, a bit like us
With a huge heart and huge dreams—
most that were all bittersweet
But she’d pray all day
and think about change
For she knew
she could change the world
But life was still life
And through the ups and downs
She started to drown
To look around
Her confidence collapsed despite the effort she made
As she failed
And messed up again
Screwed up on a test.
She’d fall so much and so often she thought
she was a worthless mess.
And as her walls around her collapsed
The world continued to smile,
As if her screams were unrealistic bad dreams,
And nobody could see the beauty in her heart
start to leave.
But I swear it was still there—
Because dreams can be more than just dreams.
If you just believe.
She tried to catch her breath
For she was too strong to give up.
She asked herself, “Why did I dream?
Why can’t I do this?
What is wrong with me?”
But the world, she knew
was so much bigger
than it seemed.
Her past tangled her up
as it lingered every day.
Every move she made always hinted
of the disheveled doubt inside.
And she knew
That somewhere underneath the surface
And the abrasive test scores
shattered dreams and mistakes,
That she could still maybe
Change the world
But she was still too afraid
Because she remembered those days
The times she failed, broke down in rage.
She remembered the pessimistic thoughts
going through her mind
Telling her she was born an idiot
An undeserved lie.
Though her friends were always there for her
She still felt so alone
she feared her feelings were invalid
and didn’t want them to be exposed.
She wanted the past to be where it was,
She wanted it to be gone.
She wanted to start over,
And to stop feeling always wrong.
“But maybe,” she thought,
“I might actually be capable
what if a little hope is all I need?
if I choose to believe I am not a failure
maybe then I can conquer my dreams.”
She told herself,
“I know it’s going to be hard
But I’m willing to try my best,
And see if I make it far.
I’m gonna go back,
And face my past
Maybe I can’t change it
I can learn to laugh.”
So fueled by hope she started again
Trying to love, trying to believe
Fighting her fears
Chasing her dreams
The God she loved
Who made her beautiful and unique.
Her confidence comes from Him
and she’s blessed in every way you see.
You know, that girl
And life is a long journey,
It will take you far
If you just believe.
Through the ups and downs
You’ll make it around.
Don’t ever stop following your dreams.
When you make a mistake
And start to lose faith
Just remember that God
has your future perfectly in place.
Anything is possible
And you really can
change the world
They can be more than just dreams.
You just gotta believe.