issue 3: nov 2015, Poetry
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I’m Told to Enjoy My Youth by Cherie Jacobs

“I’m Told to Enjoy My Youth” by Cherie Jacobs

I’m told to enjoy my youth

Although I have no idea where to start

Trying to grow

Expand myself yet I feel so restricted

Who knew growth would be so uncomfortable

I’m unaware of how to enjoy my life

My life as a young single black women

Constantly watching my people die left and right

Constantly having to hear what is expected of me

Constantly reminded of my flaws

Every time I don’t measure up

Constantly being told what kind of man I need

What life I should live and how to live it

My mother trying to instill her life lessons in me

Yet all I feel is all of her fears and regrets projected onto me

Twenty approaching yet at times I feel fifty something

Her life crisis feels like mine

I’m told to enjoy my youth

But how do I do so when my life circles around my mothers?

Her hold so tight

I wonder when she will let me go

I find myself stuck in my head

Living more in the past than the future

People from the past inhabiting new bodies

Different people, same everything

Same behavior, mindset and beliefs

Nothing changed

Yearning for something greater

I know I was meant to create

I’m sure I haven’t hit the tip of the iceberg

I’m told to enjoy my youth but sadly I have no clue where to start

My whole life seems like a checklist

It’s as if I’m shopping in the grocery store

Each accomplishment another item

Another thing in my shopping cart

Another thing down that I can take home to fill up my pantry and my cabinets

I’m told to enjoy my youth

How do I do so when all those who look like me are dropping like dead flies?

Most of us never questioning anyone or anything just open to whatever is available

Whatever story or lesson someone ingrains in us

I’m told to enjoy my youth

Tell me how do I enjoy my youth as a black woman, one who’s constantly scrutinized by everyone everywhere no matter the circumstance?


Cherie Jacobs is a young African American writer from Bronx, New York. She enjoys writing poetry and reflection pieces. Her main objectives when writing are to inspire others to love and discover more about themselves. Cherie’s writing focuses heavily on self love, growth, and coming into one’s own among other things. If you want to see more of her poetry you can check it out on her blog: here.

Illustration by Francine (twitter).

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