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1. if someone invites you back to their place
for coffee, and you only drink tea,
don’t stress:
you probably won’t actually be drinking coffee.

2. when the creepy guy from work asks you out
again and you think about accepting for the first
time because you’re sick of going home alone and
you have never learned how to say no, don’t. learn.
stand in front of the mirror until you love yourself
enough for your skin to fit snug on your body. read
about the hundreds of millions of planets out in the
hundreds of millions of galaxies and feel so crowded
that you’re about to burst all over again.

3. you’re gonna screw up.
Jesus Christ, you’re gonna screw up so bad
and i’m not talking about forgetting an appointment bad,
or spilling coffee on your boss bad
or getting into a small fender bender on the side of the interstate bad.

i’m talking about the kind of bad that ties you down
into your bed on Monday morning when you
need to go to work. the kind that weighs on your shoulder
during the entire day, the kind that everyone can see,
like a neon bar sign flashing in a bible-belt town,
or the guilty and private kind,
like a two-bit hooker pressing the money
as close to her heart as she can get,
as if she could absorb it
and finally feel like she’s worth something.

4. distance really does make the heart grow fonder.

4. so call your mother. often.
you’ll miss her when you’re struggling
to wrap presents on Christmas eve,
and when you’re paying
taxes for the first time.

4. and keep track of your old friends:
they’re the only ones who remember your
first time drunk in high school,
or the time you wanted to be a ballerina
or how to climb in through your old house’s bedroom
window at one o’clock in the morning.

4. and while you’re gonna move to a place with mountains
or plains or beaches or deserts, a part of you will
always miss these rolling hills.

5. people are gonna stop telling you that
you’re beautiful because you’re not a kid anymore.
that doesn’t mean it stops being true,
just because you get crow’s feet at the corner
of your eyes when you smile or laugh lines like
curtains framing your mouth.
you are beautiful still, with your bruised
knuckles from punching the clock,
your torn up lungs from breathing in
a ruined ozone layer; this is what happens
with age: you improve, you prove to be better.
you are beautiful still. more so now.

6. always use blinkers, never roll through
a stop sign, drive with the windows down,
and when you’re running on fumes, pull over.

keep your eyes on the road.
and remember—
it’s easier than they tell you.
so primarily this is written for my oldest sister who is graduating from college and still doesn't know how to drive and knows very little about things that aren't English and school because that's how teenagers in America are raised and it sucks.

And okay, so I'm pretty young and have never actually been in the real world or whatever, but I still think some of this stuff is true. And it's been a while since I've written a list poem, so I decided to do that. I hope you enjoy, thank you for comments/favorites/watches. I'd love to see what stuff you guys were worried about or think is true about the real world, so comment that?
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2014-05-21
welcome to the real world by MisfitableGrae is, as the suggester says, "a beautiful, real dedication". Creative, evocative images are well-woven into the straightforward prose. ( Suggested by your-methamphetamine and Featured by ShadowedAcolyte )
:iconlittlemissswagmuffin:
littlemissswagmuffin Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
I've run out of words to say about your poems. I reread it a few times to try and find the right words to say but there are none. I really love this; it's raw and real, and honest, and how on earth you write these wonderful words in just the right way I will never understand. 
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:iconnikan2:
nikan2 Featured By Owner May 30, 2014
i love the part about the hooker, who wishes to be convinced she has a heart of gold if only she could see it was actually worth something, anything, at best... Great job, incredibly insightful and original!
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:iconmagic-bean-buyer:
Magic-Bean-Buyer Featured By Owner May 28, 2014
I'm not much older than you, but I've seen a good deal of what I consider to be the real world. I'm always learning more but right now this is what I think:

1.) Yes and no. If this is about sex (for some reason, I read this stanza very suggestively my first few times but on closer inspection it doesn't necessarily have to be about sex) then no, not everyone is DTF 100% of the time. If you mean, "coffee" is more about the experience of talking to someone, then yes. Life is more about who you're with than what you do.

2.) Say yes to the creepy guy at work, unless he's being abusive. I've been harassed by my fair share of strangers, but unless the "creepy guy" is doing something hurtful (like making unwanted advances), he's probably just a socially awkward dork. I don't believe in "settling". Give people a chance and don't hold out for the white knight because looks can be deceiving and the unattractive creepy guy could have a perfectly lovely personality. However, like I said, I've had a lot of people demand that I go home with them/sleep with them.. anything that's inappropriate or makes you feel unsafe should be reported (I've never reported anyone, but after my most recent run-in with a harasser I've been instructed to call the cops the next time I'm in a situation like that).

3.) This is the one I agree with the most. When I left high school, I honestly believed I was invincible, and smart enough so that I was immune to making mistakes. The most important thing I've learned since leaving home is how to fail, and I've become much stronger because of it. It hurts a lot less after a while. It's arrogance that makes failure so difficult at first- once you've learned to accept it and adapt to the new reality created by your mistakes, it gets easier.

4.) Nostalgia is silly, but I can't say I don't suffer from the occasional bout. Ironically, the only times I've missed Ohio were not when I was here in Texas, but rather on the plane about to leave Ohio. (I tried that sentence with pronouns and it was even worse.)

5.) This is absolutely not true. You get to choose who you associate with as an adult: choose people who make you feel beautiful and loved. The people I knew in my childhood were fucking assholes and constantly sought to tear me down and make me feel like shit about myself; the people I know now are much kinder because if people now try to pull what people back then did, I would just cut ties - it's easier to do that in the "real world."

6.) It's ok to not drive perfectly sometimes. Drive carefully, but don't freak out if you roll through a stop sign at an empty intersection. All or nothing thinking is bad. I know that's not what you're getting at here at all, but I have a fairly severe anxiety disorder and I would occasionally get panic attacks if I forgot to use my turn signal or something. Yes, it's important and people need to try to follow the rules of the road and stay safe, but it's far more important to relax. This applies to driving as well as life.

It's not always easier than "they" tell you - sometimes it's fucking hard. Sometimes it's the hardest fucking thing you've ever fucking done. But it is always manageable. I've never gone through anything I couldn't get through. Maybe not on my own, but as Dumbledore said, "Help will always be given... to those who ask for it."

Sorry for such a long (sometimes nitpicky) comment, especially in the midst of a DD flood. I wanted to get to it a while ago but I got caught up in life. Keep on writing. :hug:
Reply
:iconcristinewakesuphappy:
cristinewakesuphappy Featured By Owner May 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
:iconcongratsdd1plz::iconcongratsdd2plz::iconcongratsdd3plz:
Reply
:iconbabou-shka:
Babou-Shka Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
Wonderful.
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:icondusklupe:
Dusklupe Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
Simple Amazing. I think you'll be just fine out here in the real world.  I would say America is harder to live in but I really don't know. All I've ever known is a small town in central Texas. All I do know is so far it's been pretty rough but life would boring without its many challenges. Also I clenched my jaw at #4 because a deep lingering yearning rose up inside. I've always loved the mountains but just recently reached a place in a life that I can actually seriously consider moving to the mountains despite the colder weather... and I do indeed live in a region of rolling hills that I love very much. However, I think you have a pretty good grasp on how to get along this big ol' world. I know older people who have been in the real world for quite some time (much long than I) that have yet to grasp any of these.

My worry? That I'll never be enough, and that I'll never find a place where I can truly thrive without grasping at straws and simply surviving. I have vowed to one day overcome this current state of forced stagnation.

Thank you for your words!
Reply
:iconpokebw4evr:
PokeBW4Evr Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
I love this...so SO much... and I didn't ever realize why people stopped telling me I was beautiful as often. I honestly began to believe that I wasn't as beautiful anymore...because why else would no one really say so,?I feel like so many things are making sense now after reading your writing here, and I thank you for sharing it. I'll bet your older sister is very proud and happy for you. =') God bless you!
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:iconvaliantshadow:
ValiantShadow Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Student General Artist
This is absolutely amazing, and so true!
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:iconstraight-butch29:
straight-butch29 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is just...WOW. :heart: Congratulations on the DD cuz' you obviously deserve it B-)
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
I’m very happy for you!!! :iconloveloveplz: :tighthug:
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:iconbornwiththesun:
BornWithTheSun Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is so true and beautiful! <3 I love it when artists/poets/writers are honest about their subjects.
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:iconteiraven:
TeiRaven Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is aptly timed, I'm struggling with the Real World as I fill out a thousand job applications because I got laid off yesterday! Congrats on the well-deserved DD!
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:icontreasures-of-wisdom:
Treasures-Of-Wisdom Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I hope and pray you soon find something worthwhile! =)
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:iconteiraven:
TeiRaven Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
aww, thank you so much, that's very sweet of you!

I see on your DeviantID that you were interested in 3D modeling? I've never used Blender, but I've taken a few modeling classes (I'm a game design major myself) and the program that I liked most for advanced modeling is called Sculptris. It's a free digital sculpting program, and excellent for testing the waters with! You might be able to run it, if you can run Blender and GIMP. Definitely worth looking into! I hope you enjoy it, regardless if it's the field you choose to go into or not.
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:icontreasures-of-wisdom:
Treasures-Of-Wisdom Featured By Owner May 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
And thanks very much for the suggestion!
Reply
:icontreasures-of-wisdom:
Treasures-Of-Wisdom Featured By Owner May 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You are very welcome! =) Yeah, I used to use Blender but haven't really modeled anything in a while.  It was mainly for hobby purposes (I used to want to go into video-game design, but the more I looked into this, the less it seemed like a career that was really compatible with also wanting to be closely involved with a family).  Thank you, though! =) I do also use GIMP, and I still follow Blender updates even though I don't use it often.
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:iconperson1935:
Person1935 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
For someone so young you seem to have covered all the good advice my grandmother has ever given me and then some. You've made a really great piece of work!
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:iconshadowisstillalive:
ShadowIsStillAlive Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not an adult in the age term of the word, and I haven't had to eel with any of these problems, but somehow, this poem really touches me. Great job!
Reply
:iconlightwing47:
LightWing47 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! I almost cried reading this, and I rarely ever cry. Once again, thank you!
Reply
:iconuchuubranko:
uchuubranko Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Student General Artist
It's superbly written, the flow has a nostalgic and teary feeling. :happycry: I absolutely love it!! :love: :heart::heart::heart:

In case you weren't referring to "drive through life",  "oldest sister who is graduating from college and still doesn't know how to drive"
sounded a bit like it's normal to know how to drive when you get out of the college & become an adult. I have to peacefully disagree though, because this way of measuring kind of sucks as well. (my opinion) :saddummy: 
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:iconnawkaman:
nawkaman Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
gorgeously written! :heart:
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:iconzeaphra247:
Zeaphra247 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
This is so true. And the bit about paying taxes for the first time, god yes! One of the first things that makes you realize you are an "adult", that you are expected to be a productive member of the population, that you should have your shit together. Ugh, made me realize just how little I thought I was an adult.

Still, being part of the real world has its perks.
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:iconkenalli:
Kenalli Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is absolutely stunning and touched a part of me that I am just learning exists within me because it's been buried so deep for so long.  Thank you.
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:iconchinook84:
Chinook84 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
If these are the words you chose to give to your older sister, you are wiser than your years, and the world needs more people like you. I love that you mentioned the last bit - that people will stop telling her she's beautiful. Because it is so very true. One real-world thing that I will add: most of the adult world works in a pass/fail kind of way, and no one except your friends and family will care that you tried if it isn't done right and fast the first time.
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:icontreasures-of-wisdom:
Treasures-Of-Wisdom Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That's so beautiful, and congratulations to your sister!
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:iconcremep0ps:
cremep0ps Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
i like this. a lot. don't know what else to say that hasn't been said already. 
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:iconleftunfinished:
LeftUnfinished Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Congrats on another well-deserved DD. :love: Awesome work!
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:iconidiotfarm:
IdiotFarm Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
Could've saved a lot of time by just writing 'the real world sucks'.
Reply
:iconscr1b3:
Scr1b3 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
And you could've saved even more time by not even commenting. If you don't appreciate this peice, then why are you even here?
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:iconidiotfarm:
IdiotFarm Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
Show me where I specifically said that I didn't appreciate it.
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:iconscr1b3:
Scr1b3 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
'Could've saved a lot of time by just writing 'the real world sucks' why write that if you did?
Reply
:iconidiotfarm:
IdiotFarm Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
Oh no, I have an opinion.
Reply
:iconscr1b3:
Scr1b3 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah and you decided to write it in a way that wasn't particularly helping anyone. I don't go slagging off every one of YOUR peices
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:iconidiotfarm:
IdiotFarm Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
Wasn't trying to help anyone, thanks for noticing.
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:icontreasures-of-wisdom:
Treasures-Of-Wisdom Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
(The impression I got was that Scr1b3 was saying that the actual ~world~ - the one we live in - sucks, not that Scr1b3 was trying to insult this piece itself, "Welcome to the real world."  I could be wrong, but I hope this makes more sense.)
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:icontreasures-of-wisdom:
Treasures-Of-Wisdom Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoops, I was meaning to say IdiotFarm where I said Scr1b3.
Reply
:iconseptemberskies2298:
SeptemberSkies2298 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is beautiful and inspiring and so so so encouraging. I'm going off to college in the fall and this really hits home, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful writing-voice and congrats on the DD, it's well-deserved. 
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:iconcaptainquirk:
CaptainQuirk Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
the guilty and private kind,
like a two-bit hooker pressing the money
as close to her heart as she can get,
as if she could absorb it
and finally feel like she’s worth something.


This is my life.
Reply
:icon3laughingladies:
3laughingladies Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is wonderful! Well done!
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:iconguitarlover181:
Guitarlover181 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this it absolutely made my day and i just got home from Junior year in high school. It reminds me to not take my family for granted, that there is a life for me when i get out into the real world. and that not everything comes easy, thank you for the beautiful poem and keep up the amazing work
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:iconimmabunchofthings:
ImmaBunchOfThings Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Being a graduating high school senior, this doesn't even begin to make me see the challenges I'll see. It doesn't help that I've been raised like most American teens. I have no job. I still don't know how to drive even though I'm 18 now. I screw up enough already according to my oldest sister, so I'm honestly not looking forward to the real world. I do know, at least, to say no when needed. I do know how to drive a little bit. That's all I can do, though.

But this is all coming from an introverted young woman, so don't take my word for it. Great piece of work, though. I really mean it.
Reply
:iconwolfgrrl92:
wolfgrrl92 Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It is an incredibly spooky experience reading this poem because I just graduated from university last Sunday and - ohmygosh - now I have to be a grown up person and find a job and pay taxes and… AHHHHHHH!!! 

Instant :star:
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:iconsycamoresea:
SycamoreSea Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for writing this. 
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:iconimariposa:
iMariposa Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is so . . . I don't even know. You are a wonderful person for writing this. All of it is so true. Would it be okay if I printed this and posted it somewhere where I could see it every day forever? :hug:
Reply
:icondaghrgenzeen:
Daghrgenzeen Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful.
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:iconnatmonkey:
Natmonkey Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aw, this is wonderful. Practical, but poetic and beautiful at the same time. I can't even leave a proper constructive comment. :cries:
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:iconbeltaneh:
Beltaneh Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
It is a beautiful present :heart:
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:iconricardo-orozco:
Ricardo-Orozco Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
.. as if she can absorb it and finally feel like she's worth something,,,i like these kind of poems really concrete and real. excellent :)
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:iconkiwicocktail:
KiwiCocktail Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think it's beautiful. It's so relatable, sad and still powerful.
Thank you for sharing :>
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner May 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Goosebumps...
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