Each Step I Take is the poetic story of one girl’s journey through bullying. Told from Lila Dooley’s teenage point of view, Each Step I Take reflects what many teenagers are experiencing in today’s world of growing up with social media and extreme feelings of being excluded by peers or classmates. The poetry, divided into themes of darkness and light, sheds light on how bullying is not just physical—it affects young adults psychologically as well.
Lila’s message of acceptance and hope is something we all can learn from. As she writes in the poem, “Perfect”:
Perfect is a word to describe ordinary/That’s the thing about me/I am not perfect/I am not ordinary/I am extraordinary.
About the Author:
Lila Dooley is a thirteen-year-old middle school student from South of Boston. She is a happy, fun seventh grade girl who knows what it’s like to be picked last, or to not be included. Lila has experienced bullying from her peers, and was excluded from parties and get-togethers. She realized that this exclusion too was a form of bullying.
Lila likes gardening. She plays field hockey, basketball and volleyball. She has Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which impacted her feelings. She felt all alone. When asked what she wants to do with her life, she responds, “helping people.” Lila is always aware of her surroundings. If anyone is left sitting alone, she is usually the first to reach out and include them.
Lila began writing on her own as a form of self-therapy. Through her poems, she is able to express her thoughts and feelings about being a teenage girl, the importance of true friendships and how to always have hope. Lila writes from her heart, and hopes that her poetry will help those that have experience with feeling left out or being different. She wants readers to know that they are not alone, others have the same feelings, and this too shall pass. Everyone deserves friends who accept them for their personality, not their popularity.