Separate Days

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"Separate Days" is a poem about the choices we have to make about our futures. Hopefully, this poem gives you something to think about and makes you question the world we live in. Scroll to the bottom to watch me say it!


Life is a journey; focus on today.

This we all hear; this we all say.

But how many of us steer ourselves this way?

Why do we chase tomorrow's dreams today?

Spend our entire lives working for the future

the future that doesn't come anyway,

because when it does, we just stay:

working for tomorrow even though it's today.

It's not our fault; it's what we're taught.

Every school year begins with the same two questions:

How was summer vacation

and what will you be when you grow up?

I envy those who say the same thing every time.

They know exactly what they want to be; I don't.

Perhaps they can see the future; I can't.

My answer changes every time.

It's always some career in STEM.

Of course! I was the captain

of the math team, robotics team, science team.

Everybody around me knew I excelled in these.

Why would I do anything else?

But they didn't know I read a book every day.

On the flight to math contests,

I would finish Mockingjay.

On the flight home, trophy in hand,

I'd finish another book by the time we land.

But then, I began to wonder how everything I do

would affect which high school and college I got into.

At the time, I did not realize

This was the trap I so despised

The trap that holds our entire species captive.

I was told, in sixth grade, "Read less,

Focus on the field in which you want success."


But I can't bring myself to think about just one thing.

I need to read, or I can't breathe.

An addict suffering from withdrawal,

I grasped not for coffee, but for a story.

If I could not get one from someone else, I had to make one for myself.

So I made a world different from the one I reside in,

went on the rollercoaster of a plot I designed, and

created the people—the characters—I want to see in the world.

I wrote it line by line,

I took my time,

I polished and shined,

I made it mine.

And then I wrote another and another, and

I've been asked why I put so much time into my books,

why I value the present more than the future,

and truth be told, I—

I ask myself why.

I do want a STEM career. Science is my favorite subject, my best subject. It always has been.

I can't see my future self in a different light,

but I still write.

And now I see

The problem isn't who I want to be or what I want to do.

It's everything in between.

This mindset that we have to choose.

That today you have to do

what tomorrow you want to be.

But if that's true,

I ask you:

Why do we say

they are two separate days?

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