Real World

Being in college I hear a lot of people talking about joining the “real world”
and I don’t understand,
because to me I’ve been in the real world for sometime now, I guess.

When I was 13 a girl in my town died.
Then when I was 15, a girl my age, that I danced with died.
And then just last year, my best friend of all of grade school, well her little brother died.
I’ve seen entire towns cry over kids dying before they even reach an adult age.
That’s real.

I have a friend who’s battling two eating disorders.
At the same time.
She knows it’s bad, but she can’t stop.
As much as I want to help her,
I am helpless.
All I can do is try to be her friend.
That’s real.

When I was 16 I had a car accident.
Police and paramedics both arrived on the scene,
and both of them looked me in the eyes and said,
“You shouldn’t be alive…”
That’s real.

I work camps during the summers.
I’ve had campers who were abused, starving, afraid to go home, and many other things.
To them, camp is the happiest, safest, and most loving place they know.
And all I could was love them that week, and say a prayer.
That’s real.

And I don’t even need to rehash the details of this one again…
But my brother has cancer.
That’s real.

I run out of fingers trying to count the friends I have who have been raped.
It only takes one finger for me to count the friends who have gone to the police.
That’s real.

This is the real world.
And I’m in it.
So I guess I’ll see y’all when you get here,
But I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.


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