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‘Just like every other teenager in the world, I am lost’

The Spinoff Parents is very proud to share this beautiful spoken word poem by Talyah Miller, a Year 9 student from South Auckland Middle School.

Who am I?

I am a person just like you. I get bored easily so if I am in a place too long I will wander off. I can get very lost, emotionally and physically. Sometimes I trip and fall onto another track, easier and smoother but it takes you to the darkest place on earth: depression. Just before I am forced to live in depression I remember my way and that all I need to do is have HOPE. I’ve ridden this train thousands of times and I know others have too. That to me is one of the things that calms me; knowing that I don’t have to ride it alone. Knowing that there is friendship. I have amazing friends. They are the highlights of my life. They bring joy to me and I try my best to bring them joy back, although we will always have ups and downs they will still be a part of me. But is this what defines me?

Who am I?

I am a mixture. I am caramel. My mother is Samoan and my father is Pākehā. I am also really plastic but it doesn’t bother me because I know that you already knew that. I have always lived in New Zealand and I will continue to live in New Zealand. New Zealand is now a part of me that cannot be taken away no matter where I move, no matter what other country I travel to, no matter how many times I try to forget this country. It will always be remembered in my heart. But is that what defines me?

Who am I?

Just like every other teenager I am a box. On my outside I seem cheerful, full of joy, happiness and laughter. But when you open me the only thing you find is emptiness, fear, hate, jealousy and anger. The emptiness; it tastes bitter, poisonous and sour. I should know, I eat it every morning. The hate feels sharp, hot and heavy. I should know I, I use it every afternoon. Jealousy pounds my ears – the doors to my mind, and enters my thoughts. I should know – I hear it every day. Anger; it is red, it burns my heart and turns love to coal. I should know; I feel it every night. All these things, all this brokenness; is this what defines me? Maybe. But sadly this is not the end of the story; it is only the beginning to living a broken, grey and forgotten life. Every time my life takes a turn for the worst, every time it leads right back to the fork in the road, I have the choice to jump back on the easy smooth but painful path that leads right back to where I started – or to follow a rocky, narrow and bumpy road that leads to true joy and happiness. Is this what defines me?

Who am I?

I am different. I am unique. I am a mystery. The truth is I don’t completely know what defines me. Many describe me as the “tall one”. Others describe me as “smart”, “pretty”, “ugly”, “funny”, “sarcastic”, “amazing”, “a good singer”, “weird”, “Christian”. The list goes on and on. But they are not what defines me. My friends, my family, my country, my pain, my love, my hate, my culture, my Christianity, my faith, my hope, my love for music, my passion, my age, my dream – is what defines me. The way I get up after I have fallen. The way I laugh at my failure and carry on. The way I look in the mirror and have confidence in who I am. That is what defines me! That is what makes me – me! That is what makes me! That is who I am!

So …who am I? I am Talyah Miller – a thirteen year old teenage who lives in NZ and I am proud to be me.

Talyah Miller

Talyah Miller is one of seven children. Along with her mum and dad, Susan and Stephen Miller, she lives in Manurewa. After preschool, Talyah was homeschooled for a year before spending her primary years at Manurewa East Primary school, and South Auckland Middle School. She is of Samoan and NZ European descent, and regularly attends New Life church, where her parents are pastors. Her interests lie strongly in music and art, and she is known as a good friend and fun person by her peers.

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