You Are You

If you ask me who I am
I can tell you my name
one word
four letters
clap it out
one syllable
if you ask me who I am
I can tell you my age
pull out the cake
light the candles
I’ll blow them out
if you ask me who I am
I can tell you where I live
find a map
put your finger on it
but what does that really tell you
not much
who I am
and who you are
is more than a blank form
on a clipboard in a waiting room
I can tell you I don’t drink
you might judge me
I can tell you I don’t go to the movies
you might judge me
I can tell you I have no interest in sushi
you might judge me
I can tell you I’m misunderstood
you might not understand
I can tell you I know nothing about celebrities
and everything about athletes
I can tell you I’m addicted to sports
and you might start painting a picture
he’s one of those people
that’s it
that is it
one of those people
all of a sudden
I’m in a box
that’s all I am
that’s all I am perceived to be
and if I do something different
if I say I’m tired of a sport
if I try to get out of the box
it’s a surprise
it’s a big surprise
because that’s not me
it can’t be me
why would I like books
why would I like documentaries
why would I like writing
why would I like creating something with words
why would I stop watching hockey
why would I write poetry
why would I go for a walk
why would I actually say something heartfelt
why
why
why
and the questions pile up
as others control my identity
my
identity
but it’s not just me
it’s you
and you
and you and you
isn’t it
people will think you are one thing
and you are forever that one thing
anything else you do is a shock
am I right
we are complex creatures
with unique features
it’s time to start embracing them
there is so much pressure
these days
to be someone else
here is a picture
look like this
here is a video
agree with this
here is a popular person
act like this
we all just want to be accepted
but the bar of acceptance
is raised every single day
and we are the ones who raise it
higher and higher
it won’t stop
until we all put our feet down
stand up
get rid of the bar
and actually care about one another
for once
just once
I’m not talking about just your friends
I’m talking about everyone
because it’s stupid
downright stupid
that people can’t be themselves
because we won’t let them
you hear people cracking jokes
just so they aren’t the punchline
deflecting blame
pointing fingers
and making fun of others
who are you
to laugh at someone’s appearance
who are you
to laugh at someone’s interests
who are you
to laugh at how much someone weighs
it baffles my mind
maybe I’m from a different planet
didn’t we all start out in kindergarten
as little kids with big smiles
we wouldn’t hurt a fly
not a fly
then we grew up
and entered a world full of put downs
and judgments
the ones our ears can’t hear
those hurt the most
the world is broken
it’s all broken
and it took me a long time
to stop caring about what others thought
to just do what I want to do
and be who I want to be
ignore the background noise
and not think I’m always being judged
because I know who knows me
I know who’s seen the heart on my sleeve
and the honest messages late at night
trust me
I know who
and that’s all I’m trying to say here
embrace who you are
do it right now
I said do it right now
accept the people around you
do it every day
every single day
that’s how we change the world
not in a debate on TV
not by using hashtags
not by writing a cheque
it’s in how we treat each other
everybody is a somebody
remember that
everybody is a somebody
I am me
you are you
so be you.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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55 Responses to You Are You

  1. reocochran says:

    Nicely expressed, Paul. Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I LOVE THIS. AND OMG I HATE SUSHI TOO.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Miriam says:

    So true Paul. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to learn to be ourselves and to love ourselves. But it’s a journey worth traveling. Nicely penned. BTW I don’t like sushi either! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. micqu says:

    This is amazing. Truth all around. Thank you for sharing. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Julia McGeown says:

    I love the honesty, Paul. It is so true, people judge others for being themselves. You are such a wonderful writer!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Squid says:

    Paul! You stun me, man!
    “you hear people cracking jokes
    just so they aren’t the punchline”
    Is a beautifully honest line. I read it and a couple other lines out loud to my family. I don’t think they appreciated it as much as I did, but, of course, they didn’t read the whole thing for context. 🙂 Anywayz, you’ve got at least one fan in Florida!
    Squid (your fan from FL)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks, Squid! I like how you read my stuff out loud for your family.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Squid says:

        (Imagine me saying this next part as, like, George Washington or something. (You know who that is, right? Despite being Canadian and all? 😄)) “It should be the duty of every *laughs and erases “normal” from speech notes* human being who finds a beautiful piece of literature to read such articles, poems, and essays to their friends, families, and household animals, as the case may be. In doing so, they will promote deep thoughts, spark general discussion, and possibly generate odd looks of sanity-questioning from the older generation. Ergo, let there be reading! Here I stand, Amen. God Bless America. (And Canada!)
        Squid Washington

        Liked by 2 people

      • Paul says:

        Haha yes I know who he is – famous american chef, right? Lol jk. Great speech. I liked the use of the word “ergo”.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Squid says:

        Hahaha yes, that’s him! 😀 Thanks! The English word “ergo” is actually from the Latin word “ergō” meaning “therefore”, so there wasn’t much evolution there, lol. I just learned that and have been wanting to use it for days. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So relatable… absolutely love this!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Isabella Simons says:

    🙂 Amazing poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Lisa T says:

    I freaking love this Paul❤️ Amazing capture👌🏼

    Liked by 2 people

  10. rebbit7 says:

    Really cool, Paul! Just wondering: have you been interested in spoken word poetry? Many of the poems I have read from you are similar to it in style, and I kind of like that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      That thought has crossed my mind. Actually, I think another blogger mentioned it to me too. At this point though, I don’t see it as something I’m interested in doing. But you are right – poems like this one are very much a spoken word style. Every time I read through it today, I said it out loud (under my breath).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice. Somewhere John Lennon is putting music to your words.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Barb Knowles says:

    Another poem that you hit out of the ballpark. This is so true and a good reminder not to put people in boxes. I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. msidharthan says:

    Your poems are so straightforward and yet has so much depth.
    And it rings with truth. I try not to be judgemental but then I realized how hard it is. We try (sometimes subconsciously) and categorize people based on some facts but you can’t do that to people. Everybody is unique, and you can never completely know them, so why judge them, or critique them, right?
    We don’t like it when it happens to us. Why do we do it to others? :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Very true. Especially when we meet people for the first time, I think it’s our natural instinct to try and figure out who they are as fast as we can, so we judge them before we really know them.

      Thanks for the compliment!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. How. do. you. do. this?? Amazing work. I must know.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Val says:

    Brilliant! Very well put.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Brilliant Paul
    Your words express alot about people who suffering being in a frame they aren’t, just for example if I tell any body from America, Canada and Europe that I am a muslim girl from Egypt what is the picture they might have about me? I can tell you the picture of ignorant terrorist will not leave their minds. it is our information which either from real experience we get through and then we generalize the judgement we have made or from some one else experience, it is how our minds work I don’t blame anybody but what I hope is starting fresh with every new one because those boxes cannot contain us any more we are free minds with free souls who choose not to judge and not to put people in frames and boxes, and ofcourse we believe not to be contained in a boxes other people put us in.
    Thanks again and I don’t love sushi too
    My greetings from Egypt 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Hello from Canada! Thank you for this wonderful comment. I’m sorry to hear you face judgments based on religion and geographic location – no one should have to deal with that.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. So I have to change my mind about Canadian people 😁
    I am sure the good people are present everywhere I don’t wanna to be negative, but your words touch me through more than one aspect judgmental minds present even in my close circle and we get influenced by them without knowing.
    Everyone of us have to know himself well, the time is present to deal with this recognition to know our hoppies, interest and goal in life the natural gifts as Stephen Covey mention on his book (the 8’s habit) I think if we know ourselves well we will not care about what people think about us
    Sorry for the elongation 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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