The Fish Bowl | Teen Ink

The Fish Bowl

December 17, 2009
By StrawberryTofu PLATINUM, New City, New York
StrawberryTofu PLATINUM, New City, New York
24 articles 11 photos 13 comments

If I stuck my hand out in front of me, I did not feel air. My palm pressed against the surface of cool, curved glass. Upside down and out of place, a fish bowl encapsulated me. When I looked up, the glass bottom was my sky. Life around me continued and I witnessed it all. I noticed every change and every detail. People came closer and etched their names on the glass. Every name holds a story. When I was 14 I lost myself. It wasn’t until I was 17 that I was able to find myself.

I remember how the damage started. I became friends with a group of artists who I thought were like me. One left the group in search of a more popular crowd; after that, I was in a constant power struggle with the others. Everything I liked was criticized. I remember the day when Tina attacked my short stories. She told me that no one would like them and what was worse…I actually believed her. The glass bowl came from my isolation: every time I tried to defend myself, they ostracized me. After two years, I recognized that these girls were never really my friends, but I was afraid of being completely alone. I kept writing poems, my outlet, and a group of teachers put faith in me. I was timid around people, but in my poetry, there were no boundaries. I developed a strong voice, and when I was 17, I started sharing it. I participated in three poetry readings that year. At first I was nervous, but sharing my poetry became my freedom.

I trace the pattern of the etchings on the glass with my finger. The fish bowl is my past, the experiences that I had will never leave me, but now my toes stretch out and the glass bottom is beneath me. The outside world is combined with mine. I am alone. There is a difference this time though, in this isolation. I chose it. I lost myself before, but I know I would not be as confident if I had not been completely ripped apart, then. I feel confident in school. I can walk in wearing a vintage 80s dress and be perfectly fine, even though everyone else is in ripped jeans. They look in the bowl and stare; they view me as a crazy artist, and I agree.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Apr. 10 2011 at 4:33 pm
aubs126 PLATINUM, Charlton, Massachusetts
26 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are---
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. "


Hey! I just wanted to say that this story really spoke to me! I to know exactly what it feels like to be isolated in a "fishbowl." Dont ever give up on writing!! You are amazing at it! Good luck out there! :)