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

To doubt.


Her confidence collapsed despite the effort she made

As she failed

And 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,

To laugh

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

Once again

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

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

She’s me.


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



Because dreams,


They can be more than just dreams.

You just gotta believe.


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