I Can’t (But I Can)

Writing this for one of my classes is what made me spiral further into my really depressive mood last Thursday. I really thought it was worse that it is. When I reread it to make any last adjustments before submitting it, I realized that it was actually pretty good, and I should have been more proud of it than I had initially felt. Anyway, I thought I would post it here so anyone can read it, despite what I might think of it. Not everyone does things perfectly on the first try or at all. This is my example of that.

Have any criticisms or pieces of advice? Leave ’em in the comments!

As I went to open this from our submission website I saw that my teacher made a comment saying that she wants me to work on this so it can get published in our literary magazine at my school. I can’t even believe this! It goes to show I guess…


The shades are drawn tight and the shadows of the room are deeper than the bags that have developed under her eyes. The only light comes from the monitor in the corner across from the bed. The girl sits cross-legged on the wheeled chair, tapping her right fingernails on the cold wood next to her laptop. Why is this so hard, ¬†she thinks to herself. ¬†There’s a low rhythm of rain falling on her rooftop that almost falls in time with her fingers’ beat. The blinking cursor on the screen joins in, and soon there is a silent symphony so loud that it drowns out her heartbeat and she can no longer take it. She slams her laptop shut and stands up.

She can’t do it. There is so much she wants to write about; so much that she cares about, but she cannot get it down. What does this world want from her? She can sit on the internet for hours, constantly surrounded by political activists and strong opinions of people that are as young as she, but yet she feels like no one cares about her small words on her unpopular blog. The world is changing faster than she can write about it, but she doesn’t struggle to keep up; she struggles to start at all.

After pacing the room, rubbing her dry hands over her face, she finally sits back down in her desk chair. She stares at her laptop for a moment too long and then opens it for the second time that night. The words I can’t do it parade around in her head just loud enough to make bumps rise up on her arms and tears brim in her eyes. The harsh white of the blank screen in front of her illuminates the drop that falls from her right eye before she can wipe it away.

She just wants to be good at something for once. She wants to have confidence in something that she has created. She desires the satisfaction of not only pure creation but of pure inspiration that comes from documenting her life and the lives of others around her. She cares so much about everything, but at the same time doesn’t care nearly enough. She wants to live while telling others about it and watch others live while she scribbles away her thoughts. The pressure of society fuels her while simultaneously stifling her passion and replacing it with fear. The doubt is constantly pressing against her skin, fighting to tear her down at the structure.

She lifts her head and dries her cheeks with her sleeve. Her hands jerk unsteadily to the keyboard and hover for a second before finally settling on the keys. She writes for a short time and then stops. Disappointment creeps in before she can block it. She rereads what she just produced and decides it’s not good enough. Nothing she has done has ever been good enough. Why can’t I just do this?

She sits back and puffs her cheeks out with a loud sigh. I just want to write, why is it so hard? I like writing. I care about these things. This shouldn’t be so difficult.

She closes the window and opens her blog. She scrolls mindlessly, sometimes stopping to read a quick blurb about some television show she’s watched too much of. She opens her document again: nothing. She grabs a book she’s read too many times off of her shelf and reads a chapter. She opens her document again: nothing.

Her world is too big and her life is too long and her existence isn’t enough. She wants to spread the word and tell somebody something about anything but she can’t get the words out of her fingertips and just before she screams she shuts her laptop for the last time that night. There’s too much to say and no one to listen to her anyways so she decides for the night not to bother.

The room is now completely dark and there is no longer a soft patter of rain drops falling. This time the silence is quieter, but the girl sits there as if stunned by a loud sound. She didn’t do it. She couldn’t do it. Her thoughts were abundant but she could not sew them together no matter how hard she tried. She walked to her bed and curled up while slices of stories and silver linings floated around without a purpose in her mind. Her disappointment consumed her. Frustration embraced her.

She had nothing of which to call her own. She had nothing of which to be proud. No support, no confidence, nothing to cushion her failure. She sits alone in the dark room, eyeing the corner where her laptop sat. After staring for far too long with dry eyes she stands up and sits herself back down in front of the computer.

She had to have something to say and it was about time she said it. The world didn’t want to listen to a young girl who was obviously too oblivious and not educated enough but she decided this was finally it. Society might not care but she did, and no matter how raw and unfinished her work was, she was going to finish it. This was about her. This was about what she loved, not who loved her. Maybe no one else will read it. Maybe one day millions will. For now, though, the most important and influential person will: herself.

She opened the laptop once more and focused on the soft white page and slow blinking cursor. The small black strokes on the page were no less intimidating, and her thoughts were no less chaotic, but she took one last breath as she for once let the words come.


So what’d ya think?