on growing up

get a diploma
land a safe job
have a home
nurture a loving family

find love, they say. love is what makes the world go round, they say.

pay your bills
be responsible for your choices
try to save the world

you are special, they say. someday you'll be a star, they say.

make friends
solve problems
find ways

you gotta look out for yourself, they say. you'll be eaten out there if you don't, they say.

pretend. pretend with all your heart,
with all your might.
keep that fake smile upon your lips until your cheeks are numb.

the world is out to get you if you don't, they say.

who the fuck are they?
how come they know so much about you?

where are they when you need them,
in the dead of the night when your heart is bleeding
and you can't find your way out of this mess,
this beautifully crafted cage you made out of their dreams and plans for you,
while your own dreams are crushing you so hard you can hardly breathe?

where the fuck are they when you go through hell
lost in between the you they expect you to be
and the you you actually want to be,
crying alone in the solitude of a bleak room
counting down the days you still have left to live?

smile, be polite
remember to say your prayers before you sleep
and be thankful for being allowed to be part of this
even if "this" is exactly what's parting you from yourself.

in the end, we are nothing but machines
rusting away for want of oil and purpose
god's little playthings

for as long as our heart beats
until this cancer eats away our freedom,

until life itself breaks our will.