In My Room

GRE testbook

I sit in the corner of my room
Staring at my pale chicken soup
My books scattered around me
Filled with numbers and words
The only word I see is the white
“GRE” on the purple background
Sometimes I feel passion, other times none
Desires cling to my mind
But they do not land in my heart
Where am I heading?
I do not know what I want
I have plans, but the uncertainty
makes them shrink to nothing
Why nothing?
Why should I feel so useless?
I am not lost in dreams that can never come true
I am lost in how to make my dreams real
Lost in the boredom of too much to do
And not knowing what I want most
The picture of man on the GRE book smiles
And says, “You can do it.”
I must find a clue, a hint.
These are the thoughts of a student in her senior year
Lost and confused about the future.

By Mahnaz


  1. Dear Mahnaz: You speak to something here that is very real: even when we’re given great blessings and opportunities, there often come with that great pressures, and a very real fear of squandering what we’ve been given. I was particularly struck by the “boredom of too much to do” line. I look at my over-cluttered desk and office, at the housework that is still not done, and I can feel the exact same way. One of my mentors and friends, Rick, often says that when we’re stuck at an impasse, and don’t know what to do, that if we keep thinking, but let go a bit, and if we keep our eyes open, eventually we’ll see the Big Red Arrow–the indicator of what it is we’re supposed to do. I hope that you will get that nudge soon. In the meantime, keep the faith! You have so many sweet blessings in your life! (Though, again, I know that can be stressful!)


  2. Dear Mahnaz,
    Oh, I identify with you in that room, studying for the GRE. I love the images of the pale chicken soup and the scattered books filled with numbers and words. “Desires cling to my mind, but they do not land in my heart…I am lost in how to make my dreams real.” The poem expresses so well the intangible state of mind or states of mind that you are undergoing. This is a rare talent.

  3. Ah Mahnaz: When I read your words I think back to when I was an undergraduate student studying Literature ( many years ago). I liked to write, poetry mostly, and that was not a very practical goal, so I became a teacher. Now my students write poetry (I still do as well). No matter what you learn how to do well, you can teach it. There will always be students in a traditional setting (a classroom) or outside of the traditional setting, and while you are teaching you can also create. I can tell you that it is a blessing to be able to teach something you are passionate about. Also, you need a community of like minds. Can you find that where you are?

    I can almost see your room, but want to see even more details of your environment. Think about using all of your senses when you write. What can be heard, smelled, touched in that room? Tell me.

  4. You expressed the feeling exactly and eloquently. Bravo!

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