My name is Amber, and I’m an Intern at The Practice Space (TPS). Working with youth at TPS is a singularly inspiring, mind-boggling experience, because every TPS program participant has learned a glorious strength in expressing themselves. They are able to reflect on and articulate how they feel, what they care about, and their journey in becoming themselves. This is an amazing skill, and something that I’ve been working on for the past few years, supported by this community of adults and youth determined to make mistakes, grow, and be themselves. I’ve found that the first step to being able to advocate for myself and others is identifying and accepting who I am, and as a part of that step I have written this poem. I hope it may help you if you are on the same journey as me.
Identity is something I have thought a lot about recently What does it mean to be someone, to attach identifiers on To ourselves; Their significance to us changing over time I am a woman I am not a woman I might have this, I might be that I just do not know yet. And once I do know, I will probably change my mind I am a person, I care about people and animals and things I am an animal, I want to be loved I want to love; I want to love everyone, no matter who I am at the time Who are my people? They are ever changing, I am adapting to be open and kind and accept them for who they are For who I am. I will change, I will change, I will change “It is a phase, mom” I will change. Temporary things do not leave when they are gone It is the small pieces that have been replaced that make me who I am. Who am I? I am an amalgam of changes I am all of this and tomorrow I will be all of this plus a little bit more
“It is a phase, mom” is a quote from a Tumblr thread, written by Tumblr user @cloutfromgrandmascloset. I really wish I could locate the whole thread, but here’s an image of it (including its contributors) since I can’t source it. It’s one of my favorites.