It’s been a while since I’ve shared some non-murdery prose, so why not, right?
I’m not the best at being vulnerable, but I do care a lot about people. I’m extremely lucky to have the friends and family in my life who support me, as well as have crossed paths with some amazing people who became influences in one way or another. I’m just really, really lucky to be where I’m at and experiencing the things I am.
This piece was originally shared on Operation Beautiful’s site, but it looks like the site’s been changed, because it’s not coming up when I test the link. Which is fine, things change with time. This was back before this blog, back when anyone else I showed it to turned it down as fast as you’d expect. So, let’s share it here!
Originally I wrote this after being concerned for people around me, but I think midway through it became things I wanted to tell myself, or friends that I cared about, or any number of people. The words just flowed, and these days, I think a lot of people need to hear it. It was done from the standpoint of taking on the female standard of beauty, so it is skewed to that a little bit, but I hope it speaks to all kinds of people, because at the end of the day, that’s what I want my work to do. So, here you go. As with all my other work, copyright mine, can’t use without written permission, etc.
You are More
I wish you could look into the mirror and see beyond your face, way past the surface to see more. More than what the world sees, more than what your friends see, more than I or even you can see. That is what you are. You are more than any label or stereotype, bigger than any first glance or expectation. You are more. You are more than the makeup and the way you style your hair, more than the clothes and magazines, more than all that frustration spent on trying to live up to some ridiculous, unobtainable idea. You are not your age, not your weight, not your eye color, hair color, skin color. You are much, much more.
You are more than your schedules and routines, habits and compulsions, more than a bubbly social butterfly, more than the hidden shyness. You are more than the movies, video games, music and trends you love. More than the chores and homework, more than the job and the role you play. You are everything beyond the impossible projects and all the conflicts you hate. You are more than all of your exceptional high points, more than all of the things that you never want anyone to know about. Anything that you feel ashamed about – you are more than that, more than those secrets that you keep bottled up because you think you’d bother others with them. You are more than any shortcomings you think you see on the outside, more than any kind of judgment you hastily cast on yourself attempting to be “enough.”
You are more than a trusting friend, much more than comic relief. Witty remarks and banter don’t even scratch the surface! You are more than your place in your family, more than the position in your social circle you happen to fill. You are more than your sex and the clothes that emphasize or hide it. There is so much more to you than straight lines or sloping curves, more than strong come-ons and coy glances. Yes, you are all of the things that all girls and women are, but you are not reduced down to being just those things. You are much, much more.
You are more than angry outbursts, more than confusion about the future regarding yourself and the world. You are so much more than all of your nighttime unvoiced fears, more than the sudden tears, the sweeping highs and rocky lows. More than all the roads you have to walk in between. You are more than fire, than water, than blood. You are more than dancing, more than music, more than paint or clay or film. More than cloth or technology, old or new stories – that is what you are.
You are who you are, and you will always discover new layers, new mores. You are possibility, hope, and ability. You are destiny before it happens, bird’s first flight before it plummets from the nest for the very first time. You are potential and you can truly be anything you really want. You can do anything you truly want. You can accomplish things greater than you know. But you have to want to be more. Because you are also more than selling yourself short, more than worrying how you’ll go about doing any one thing. Have faith. Forget the mirror. Forget what everything around you tells you to be.
Be who you are.