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Training Wheels

I feel like I’m still on training wheels, but now there’s no safety net. There’s no hedging bets, no guarantees, nobody there who’ll try and catch me. I feel like no matter what I do, I cannot ride this bike. It lays in my yard, one wheel turning, while inside I sit, yearning for a way to learn, for a way to be taught that doesn’t reveal what little I know. How far I could go. The things I could do. If only I could learn to ride you. If I could conquer this tool, if I could ride this bike, I know I’d be happy and do things that I like, but no, I am stagnant, there’s been no progression. I’m listless, hopeless, and have given into depression.

Everyone else, it seems, had no trouble riding. Their parents, their teachers, every one of them guiding them to a better bike trail, a clearer bike lane, while I remain stuck confused and in pain. Why can’t I rid myself of these wheels? Why do I crash into all the walls? I’ve got a bell, a nice seat, but I continue to fall fall. My bike is well built, it’s sturdy, no doubt, but my lack of experience keeps me locked out from all that there is, all of my chances, while I get pointed at, with stolen glances, because I can’t ride and they know that, no question, and embarrassed I cancel my next learning session. I can’t ride this bike, the sad fact remains, I’ll always have wheels that are just meant to train. I’ll never balance, never stay up on two wheels, and nobody cares how poorly this make me feel.

To them, it comes easy, to them it’s a breeze. But me, I struggle, nothing comes with ease. I can’t ride this bike, so I walk instead, knowing that I can walk right past what comes ahead. We all strive our own ways, we push on how we like, so who cares if I can’t ride some stupid bike.

This poem, in case it wasn’t clear, is about becoming an adult on your own, without any help, and having nobody ever taught you anything. You look around you and see everyone else seems to be capable of making it, but you can’t be like them, and yet you keep going. There’s no shame in surviving anyway you have to. That’s been the hardest lesson for me to learn, but a crucial one nonetheless.

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