A few weeks back at the Children’s Grief Center, my co-facilitator and I did an I Am poem exercise. It’s an easy exercise to do, with a template that includes a list of phrases, starting with I am… (which repeats) and other phrases such as “I wonder…” and “I hear…” etc. As always, it is not required to follow the template line by line, and if one line inspires you to write more, and another doesn’t inspire you at all, then go with your gut.
One reason this is a good exercise is that it allows participants to think about who they are, especially in the aftermath of loss.
Here’s my version:
I am a writer of prose, not poems. Poems scare me. Sentences and paragraphs give me more options and stories help me connect with myself and others.
I wonder about a lot of things like What’s the point? What am I doing? Why?
I hear the clock ticking and it makes me nervous.
I want to do great things. I want to publish my book, write another book, teach. I want to be near the ocean again, to feel sand in my shoes, to duck seagulls and feel the fog on my face.
I am a California girl at heart.
I pretend I have my shit together but I don’t (sometimes). I feel like I’ll never grow up and I worry that I will and I will be boring.
I cry when I am sad and I cry when I am mad and that makes me mad and then I cry more.
I am crazy.
I understand a lot of things. That some things take time, that things happen for a reason, that we do the best we can with what we have, with what we know and (sometimes) I say Bullshit!
I dream of a day when these things don’t perplex me, but that could mean that there is no longer a point to this.
I try my best. I try to do good. I try to improve at least my tiny portion of the world. I hope it is enough. I hope that I am enough.
I am a writer. Of prose, not poems.
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If you’d like to do your own I Am poem, here’s an online template where you can do your own.