you say i might drift, 
without definable direction 
if i do not do this now 
and i understand 
but understanding does not cut through my apathy 
i need to be certain i have a choice, i need freedom - space 
and if i drift 
surely it is better than being rooted in the expectation of other people.

Kate © 

I wrote this poem based on what a teacher asked me, about my future. I was not doing well in school and this teacher asked what am I going to do when I leave, if I don’t receive qualifications and achieve my exams, what will I do? And you know when you’re a kid, so many adults want to know what you have planned for the future and I think in particular when you are a teenager, you have to make decisions based on – what? We change and grow so much as teenagers. To then spend our twenties trying to undo a lot of damage from pursuing the wrong things. And I have always known I am a writer, someone who creates stories. I don’t know at what point I learnt that was not the correct response, that being a writer was unrealistic and unlikely to achieve success. Success to the adults seemed to be money and status. I think my perception of success become skewed and I became very stressed trying to pursue employment in a sector that was only harmful for me. It carries more weight to empower people by encouraging them, telling them that they can do something. When you add in the complication of having anxiety and depression, I imagined leaving school after exams was tantamount to walking off a cliff. I was going to spend the rest of my life in my bedroom, pretending that I didn’t exist and hoping that someone would help point me in the right direction. I was 15 years old when I left school, I was one of the youngest because I’m a summer baby, and that’s a small number of years to be alive. 15 years old and I knew I hadn’t a future. I don’t think it is meant to be that way.

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