How Bukowski helped me go through my teenage angst

The first time I heard a poem from Charles Bukowski it was on this Levi’s TV ad back in 2009. It was called The laughing heart. I was so moved by the words to this poem that I immediatly googled it and wrote it in my diary as an important mantra for going through the rest of my adolescence.

I was always the geek in the classroom. I was always studying and did all my homework and projects on time. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA with the excellence honor. By the time I was 17 I spoke 3 languages, played and teached the violin, knew embroidery, knitting and scrapbooking (yes, I litterally do anything except clothes and tasty food). Beacause of all the curricular and extra-curricular activities, and having very strict parents, I never got to enjoy the typical teen things like sleepovers, dating or cinema nights. I was so obsessed in being perfect and building a base for my future. I’m not gonna lie, it was totally worth it; but on the other hand I can say that I didn’t enjoy my teenage years like a normal teen.

Writing helped me escape from all the teenage angst and lack of participation in normal teenage activities, that’s why I always had journals and notepads to just capture every thought, feeling or moment through words.

I didn’t suffer harsh bullying during high school, but I was outcasted by most of my classmates for being so “different” (for them of course). It’s not easy for an early teen to not have friends because they’re considered different or weird. I suffered pretty much on my transition from middle school to high school. We all had our akward phase, but somehow I felt mine was the most akward. Writing and reading really helped me exceed those tough teenage years and poems like these make a highlight in my life.
Today while I was cleaning my room, I found one of my diaries from high school and saw The Laughing heart poem written on one of the pages. Bukowski’s poem really motivated me to give the best of me and helped me find my path during my last teenage years.It inspired me to endure the rough times, because it’s not going to always be that hard. It reminded me that there is some light in the middle of all the darkness.

It’s an honor to share Bukowski’s inspiring words on this blog:

Your life is your life

Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.

Be on the watch.

There are ways out.

There is a light somewhere.

It may not be much light but it beats the darkness.

Be on the watch.

The Gods will offer you chances.

Know them.

Take them.

You can’t beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes.

And the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be.

Your life is your life.

Know it while you have it.

You are marvelous the Gods wait to delight in you.


Author: atriumofwords

20 something Manhattan born, Caribbean raised girl who is a senior Med Student, Biochemistry tutor and Violinist. She's an amateur writer when she's not at the library studying for finals. She loves music, traveling and eating.

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