Why I Am the Way I Am

 BY JOSEPH BOWMAN

I am the way I am because my father told me if you don’t succeed, try try again. I am the way I am because my mother sees her brother in me, a brother who could go down the wrong path for ever, just like the rest. I am the way I am because I limit myself; no one else does, can or will. I am the way I am because someone told me that Jesus loves me. Someone told me that if he is the truth that I can only be labeled by Him. I am the way I am because I wanted to hurt someone. I am the way I am because I am loved more than I love. I am the way I am because I see through the water until I can’t see any more. I am the way I am because music burns in my eyes. I am the way I am because hate is lurking. I am the way I am to read books before the homework clouds the day. I am the way I am because I cave in to the instant gratification. I am the way I am because my head clouds when I’m hungry. I am the way I am because I don’t love you but I’m not just passing the time. I am the way I am because my car radio broke. I am the way I am because baseball raised my father. I am the way I am because I cry when my thoughts reach me. I am the way I am because I see right through the mirror. I am the way I am because someone turned me in. I am the way I am because only you could know me. I am the way I am because life is not enough. I am the way I am because you won’t talk to me anymore. I am the way I am because I didn’t hold your hand. I am the way I am because you didn’t knock before you entered. I am the way I am because you didn’t hold the door. I am the way I am because you remembered my birthday. I am the way I am because my ethnicity is irrelevant. I am the way I am because of you.

illustration by Ayesha Mayo