you & me

I Am Not Going To Cry Over Turning 25.

It used to be a joke.

“You’re turning 25, ha, time for your quarter-life crisis, ha, ha.”

Only it isn’t a joke anymore, and I’m no longer laughing. I believe, in fact, that every 20-something in 2015 is experiencing a crisis.

The crisis of Never Enough.

Never enough time, never enough money, never enough… go ahead, fill in the blank.

We are a society constantly running around, rushing to fit everything in and leaving no time for the activities and people we actually enjoy. Our day-to-day revolves around a clock, and by the time we sit down, it’s “Oh my, where did the day go?”

I understand that I have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce, but she doesn’t have to punch in and out for a half-hour lunch.

Her monthly paycheck affords her a life free of worry, while mine cannot compete with rising rent prices, gas and groceries. Those groceries I keep being told are full of GMOs to poison me.

I’m working to insure a car that guzzles gas like it guzzles my money, but I need that car to get to work, and I need to work in order to eat, and all I can afford is some kindergartner’s PB&J with a Cosmo brownie.

Does anyone else feel like they can’t get ahead?

Meanwhile, there are some 20-somethings who are already married, have children, live in decent-sized homes… on their own. Travel across the states, to other countries. I have never left the eastern side of my country, haven’t gotten to Paris yet… cannot afford to move out of my parent’s home because of those rent prices again

I’m not even poor enough to qualify for an income-based break, and in five years’ time, I really cannot see my boyfriend and I able to be married in a home with a child. Those adults are like magicians pulling a rabbit out of a hat. “May I borrow your top hat? I’m still pulling handkerchiefs out of my shirt sleeve.”

I still feel 17, so who is this adult you speak of, this adult you expect me to be? I don’t remember signing up for this. I have no idea who I am or what I think anymore, and I’m tired of being weighed down by thoughts that aren’t my own.

They are the thoughts society has berated us with all these years, our entertainment industry providing the gold standard to base our lives upon. This, this image across your television screen, your computer screen, the bus advertisement, your magazine ad, this here is the American Dream.

Well, then, I am having a nightmare.

I have nothing figured out, and every time I think I do, something falls from the precarious ledge I place it on.

All my shooting stars have bullet holes

Because they used my dreams for target practice

I’m drowning in your craters

And I don’t know how

Because the moon’s supposed to hold no gravity

I am a bohemian. I am not cut out for this shit, this rat race, this keeping up with the Kardashians.

I really feel like telling society and its asinine ways to go fuck itself, I cannot afford your ways. Your idea of how I should be living is farcical, and trying to figure out how to get my shit together is slowly killing me, like a malignant cancer in my veins. How come everything causes cancer nowadays?

I’m dying on the inside trying to be society’s good little robot. Stuck at a dead-end (job) and I don’t know how to scale the wall society has built up against me, that wall plastered with the image I’m struggling to maintain.

I’m pretending to be human from 9-5, all the while taming the monster clawing under my bed at night.

I’m tired of pretending.

That I am not an animal capable of monstrous things, like tearing off the stolen wings of all the dead birds you gave me, the ones you said I could soar to reach my dreams with, all the while waiting with your guns to shoot me down too.

Well, I refuse to let you.

I hold the shears of my fate and I think I will start by snipping your puppeteer’s strings. I hold fast to my childhood dreams, and I am never giving them up.

Society is walking around with dead, glazed-over eyes, unaware that the beautiful surface they see covers a murky bottom. They pretend to want what everyone else wants. They’re struggling to fill an empty cup that they still don’t feel is filled enough.

But in my heart I will always have enough. That’s why I will not cry over turning 25 despite the struggles of society facing me; I know what I truly want. Deep down in the locked bits of my pulpy heart, I know that I want a life filled with poetry and music and art. To constantly be creating.

To unleash the beast inside of me society always aims to tranquilize.


Alise Versella
Alise Versella is a poet living at the Jersey Shore. She has published three volumes of poetry which can be found at her website, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Her work has been featured on Elephant Journal, Women's Spiritual Poetry blog,, The Tattooed Buddha, and of course here. She considers herself a coffee enthusiast and self-proclaimed dessert whore, who believes with every fiber of her being that poetry, beautiful poetry, can come from the ugliest of pain. Poetry can be the salve for all the broken parts, and it can make us whole.
Alise Versella
Alise Versella