good enough | Teen Ink

good enough

April 6, 2021
By piperw811 PLATINUM, Pittsford, New York
piperw811 PLATINUM, Pittsford, New York
37 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"chemistry between people is the strangest science of all" - Bridgett Devoue

tears prick the corners of my eyes
and the words stream through
my mind, a record on repeat,
scratched beyond repair
not good enough not good enough not good enough
all I can control is myself
I brush away the icy
water that threatens to destroy
my psyche and breathe
but even though I can
calm my emotions the
words refuse to disappear      
not good enough not good enough not good enough
striking red anger overwhelms me
and yells at the words
to leave but they are just as red
if not more so
a vibrancy undetectable to the human eye
and only describable through
other senses
not good enough not good enough not good enough
the words burn with the flames of
the surface of the sun, which
potentially from a distance
could be calming and liberating
in the sense of never being able
to reach a point of greatness
and releasing that hope to land
on a pillow of comfort
but the words are too close
and sear into my brain
like a branding iron that
shows me off as a failure
not good enough not good enough not good enough
they taste like capsaicin
when you were hoping for sugar
a surprise, and a trick
that takes time to learn to
tolerate and it’s a weight that
has been placed on me without
prior knowledge
I can’t withstand this heat
not good enough not good enough not good enough
it’s the smell of sweat, of
hard work and effort
that keeps going
there’s a trace of blood,
a scent, a whiff, an inkling
of salty pain to dance around
my nose–
it smells like embarrassment.
it smells like the red pen
on a math test,
like the rubbery athleticism
of the ball that slipped
between your fingers
in those last few seconds,
like the hollowness of
makeup after
a particularly poor
not good enough not good enough not good enough
silent and overwhelming–
together the words
are overbearing but
are nothing.
no comfort, no relief,
and after a while,
no pain.
at just the right moment,
they are decibels louder
than jet engines
but can be
the unadulterated
silence of the
vast wilderness
not good enough not good enough not good enough

so how will we overcome it all?
if we believe
in only what you can see
which I don’t agree with but
it’s worked for many people so
let’s try out this theorem
if I cannot see the words, they will not affect
me except that they do
so, I will just have to be better
so that only I can tell myself
that I am not good enough
and everyone can see the
mask I have created
for myself
the artistic masterpiece that
provides a shield, a piece of armor to hide behind
and it may be cowardly but
I need strength before confronting those words again

so I will repeat them to myself until
I no longer feel pins stabbing
at the corner of my eyes
when I hear them
and all I see is a chance and
an opportunity to improve

finding the good in the pain is
how we make it through

The author's comments:

This is representative of an incredibly significant era of my life. When I was younger, I loved dancing but never felt as though it was truly worthwhile. At a certain point, I had gotten to a level where I needed to be a stronger dancer than I was, and I hit a breaking point (expressed in the poem!) where I felt like disintegrating; instead, I took the words as a challenge to be "good enough" and (eventually) improved. It took time but was possibly the most mentally unhealthy I've ever been. I think this experience is, unfortunately, more common in teens and deserves to be shared. 

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This article has 1 comment.

RainyDaze GOLD said...
on Apr. 10 at 2:45 pm
RainyDaze GOLD, Oswego, Illinois
10 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
A recent change is better than no change at all

I really enjoyed this, the poem speaks well to the high school experience.