The Truth Of Being 16

The key rests in your hands and you can finally unlock a new door in your life, mostly just the car door, but a door all the same!

The truth of being 16 is that it sucks. Junior year, arguably the hardest year of high school, is stealing ‘free-time’ from your vocabulary. Saying hi to friends in the school hallway has become the extent of a social life and pretending to be well rested is just one cup of coffee away.

The truth of being 16 is that no one really knows what they’re doing. The title of upperclassmen creates a false sense of security that you are an experienced high-schooler who can navigate any and all situations. And even those who feel comfortable have yet to prepare for the zooming “what do you want to do with your life”s and “where do you want to go to college”s .

The truth of being 16 is that you wish you were in college, because after one taste of freedom you’ve only been left wanting more.

The truth of being 16 is that you really don’t want to deal with the side effects of being 16. Heartache, confusion, and exhaustion are appetizers on that menu.

The truth of being 16 is that you miss being a freshmen. Despite the endless torture you put each new class through, you know how much simpler things were and you wish you could go back.

The truth of being 16 is that no one will take you seriously. You will always have to prove being young does not make you ignorant or incompetent. You’ve done your research, you know your stuff, now prove their assumptions are wrong.

The truth of being 16 is that you’re not sure what the truth of being 16 should be.

Where I’m From

I am from Coffee,
From plucked strings and calloused fingers
I am from the Campbell sense of humor
(Crude, corny,
it stings like river water)
I am from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The third book, but never the sixth movie
Fuzzy socks in the kitchen and
“You can’t marry a man if he can’t dance”

I am from biscuits and lotion
From “oh boy” and accidental indoor boats
I’m from the Tarzan soundtrack
And the Magic Kingdom
From Ricky-Bobby in the rain and thanking the Phoenicians
I’m from riding with the windows down
And harmonized belting
When lyrics aren’t necessary

I’m from McKenna and Stroud
Clay courts and acrylic paints
From “whatcha thinking about”
To the Old Line State
The grandparents I never met

The shelf in my closet holds my childhood
The scrapbook I begged to be completed
The dolls from my Grandfather,
Collected by one he never knew.
I am a medley of mixed harmonies
The key ever changing
A McKenna-Campbell kind of composition


Written on 3/1/16 in Italy

Leo da Vinci
How do you feel
The thousands of people flocking to see your art
How must you feel

Fairly arrogant I’d imagine
Of course you know your work is good
You’ve been told so many times

It must come as no surprise that I love it too
It would maybe shock you, if you knew,
That a peasant such as me, with such cheap taste, found someone’s work, as elegant and delightful as your own, appealing

Others eyes glaze over
“Yes. Leonardo da Vinci. His work, brilliant, you’re just like the rest.
Basic art lover
We understand.
No need to drag on the details of the way he contours the human face
No need to discuss the manner of which the red is brushed onto the cheeks
We understand.”

What can I say
A basic art show
Me and the adoration for Leo
Would he know?
Would he care?

Does he know he could appease any one?
Yet I wonder
Would he choose anyone at all?

The artist, the art, and me…oh

How I wish.
But the wishes of the observer are rarely granted.

But could the artist even pretend to care about the way I fawn over each painting as if it were mine to fawn over
Would the compliments quickly make an artist numb
Would he stop believing in his work
Or would he be even more boastful
And braggadocios

I guess I won’t know
Till I ask my dear friend, Leo


She talks a mile a minute
And she’s 170 miles away

We exchange hellos quickly in-between spurts of laughter
She says it’s been too long since we talked
I make a joke
She’s 160 miles away

She asks me about that thing I wanted to tell her
There are a lot of things I wanted to tell her
I color in the pages of my past with caricatures
And we laugh together at my idiocies
She’s 140 miles away

I ask her about her life, what’s new, what’s not new, I don’t really care what she talks about
I just want her to talk
She’s never been good at telling stories, but I can tell she’s gotten better
Probably from practice
I feel nostalgic for the times I heard the rough draft of her tales
She’s 120 miles away

She has to go
But goodbyes are just hyper retellings of whatever last minute thoughts we possess
Matching tattoos
Birthday wishes
Mixed drinks
Muffled laughter
She’s 115 miles away

She talks a mile a minute
But she’s still 110 miles away

To: Mom

In the beginning;

You taught me how to speak

You taught me how to say my name, even though it sounded like ‘Ewibabeth’

You taught me how to tie my shoes, how to ride a bike, how to laugh

You showed me how to be a good friend, even when the other first graders weren’t as nice

You taught me how to be strong, even when the monsters of my  middle school memories were too much

You showed me patience, when I had none

You showed me grace, when I deserved none

You taught me how to love myself

You taught me how to love


You’re teaching me how to drive, even when I don’t know which way to turn the steering wheel

You’re teaching me how to be an independant woman, (who don’t need no man)

You’re showing me trust

You’re showing me that a love for coffee is worth the inordinate amount of money you let me spend

You’re teaching me how to pick my battles, because some things are not worth arguing over, (no matter how badly I try to make them)

In the end;

You’ve taught me how to be me

The Weeks

There are good weeks and there are bad

The good come tumbling through the door, unafraid of making a grand entrance

They take a seat at the head of the table, serving themselves the largest portion.

They make amiable conversation with the ones sitting beside them; there’s the bad weeks, the ok weeks, and the weeks she can’t seem to remember, but the good weeks make conversation with them all the same.

The bad weeks tend to mope in the corner, making their entrance subtly, in a failed attempt of trying to stay out of focus, but she always seems to notice them

They take their petite portion, even though it seems larger than the one of the good, and eat it silently while the good carries on the conversation

The bad weeks will attempt to say something, just trying to fit into cordial dinner conversation, but will always seem to say the wrong thing

When the good weeks bring up a joyous occasion, the bad weeks almost always seem to sneak in with an equally depressing one

The ok weeks get by.

They don’t partake in much table-talk, but listen respectfully all the same

The ok weeks remember everything, the good and the bad, but never seem to speak up about either.

The weeks sit together all the same; laughing, moping, remembering

She invites them all to the table, hoping at least one will stay.