Poem: Best Years of my Life


Artwork by Zoe Watts

“These are the best years of your life”

That’s what my father told me once

As the worries about Highschool clogged my mind


He said they were the best of his

Running around with friends 

Playing pranks



My hopes built high

I let my worry slip away

I believed my father

And I thought I was ready


Yet reality was far from the expectations I had dreamed up

Instead, it was everyone else’s expectations that I had to live through

Get good grades

Be Kind

Be charismatic

Be pretty 


Simply, be better.


Best years of my life

Filled with weeks

Where I am not myself

Days were I breakdown and shatter

Hours having a panic attack

Every second filled

With that little voice in my head saying, “Be better”


I try my best

And they say “Be better”

I push myself to the limit

And they exclaim “Be better”

I pretend to be everything I’m not

And they yell “Be better”

I feel numb and smile through it

And they scream “Be better”

I break

And they shake their heads “Should have been better”


I could say

It’s impossible


But I can’t. 

Because I have been better

I have been the best. 



Long ago. 

A Decade, century, millennium?


But when I look at the date

It’s only been a few years. 


I remember my smile

My laugh

How colors looked brighter 

The world was vibrant


But those were not the best years of my life

These are.

The years filled with worry and stress

With freedom and unreachable expectations

These are the best years of my life.