Surviving not Living
by Rizouana Prome
As quarantine started in early March, everyone was told to get adjusted to a bizarre lifestyle. Something new, something different to all of us. In this poem, I have expressed how I felt as I was getting adjusted to this new lifestyle.
I am exhausted trying to survive Following the same footsteps every day Pushed back to the starting point Just when I thought I was done How far is the finish line? I am frustrated trying to fight an invisible enemy “Wash your hands for twenty seconds” “Stay home”, “Practice social distancing” These phrases are continually running through my mind When did I become an animal locked up in a cage?
I am drained witnessing quarrels
The branches of my family tree are continuously moving further away
Surviving under the same roof yet so distant
How did we get so caught up in our own worlds?
I am tired of being a night owl
An owl who is easily distracted by the negative thoughts
My moods have turned into waves
Upon arrival, they are filled with memories and excitement
As they gradually recede from my mind
They leave me feeling empty and hopeless
I am in a loop of survival
I no longer want to be an animal stuck in a cage
I want to be a bird flying in that blue sky
I want to fill my lungs with fresh air
I want sunlight to reflect on my brown skin
I want to live
I wrote this poem at the end of my sophomore year of high school. I started by reflecting on my thoughts and how I felt at that moment. I was quite aware of my thoughts, but I did not know how much of an effect they had on me and my life. I want to say, it all came naturally because it truly did. At that point in my life, it felt like everything was falling apart. With family, friends, myself, and the world. After getting a bigger picture of my experience, I started to brainstorm for figurative language to add to my writing. The title was the easiest part of this piece, I knew I was not living my life the way I wanted to. Every day, I wished to get out of this loop of survival. Every day, I woke up hoping this day could be over, but I knew I had to survive to eventually start living one day.
Rizouana is an extrovert, but as much as she likes hanging out with her friends and exploring, she is also attached to her own company. Rizouana believes having an optimistic and peaceful mindset is the key to making the most out of an experience. During her leisure time, she likes to draw, paint and write. Rizouana writes poetry, fiction, and memoirs about young adults’ lives. She likes reading fictional romance novels and philosophy. Rizouana is passionate about immigrant rights, women’s rights, and climate justice.