I remember when I graduated high school. I needed Ingrid Michaelson to lull me to sleep. I needed my boyfriend to fix every problem, and I needed to look like the girls in the magazines. I needed things...I was grasping for air, which consistently fled from my clasped hands.
I remember my ex showing me a photo of his ex. Her slender frame and edgy haircut.
I looked at the mirror and held up the photo. She was Nicole Richie. I was a pink crayon.
Do you ever feel that when you fall into the valley, your old grey dreams come out of their caves to say hello? When you fall for a moment, you remember, and the memory plays the slides of years passed, your closed eyes offering the screen.
My parents always called me independent. During days at the park, my brother would cling to my mother for fear of social quicksand. Whereas I've always been known to welcome the sporadic eruptions of lava. I feel that's how life should be lived, with periods of calm, pictures of beauty, and eruptions of hot lava pouring everywhere.
I've been known to grow restless. I can sit still for hours. My parents loved this while I was a child. Sitting still was easy...my imagination ran away. The typewriter in my head always needs time to catch up with the reels of film I keep on file.
Somehow, I grew up to be a strong woman. I'll never quite know how this happened, so I look up to God and say thank you very much. I still have my flaws and I still have the wounds that everyday become little bit more whole.
I remember my mother saying in our old house in Atlanta, "if you can pinch an inch..."
I looked in the mirror at my stomach and thought "lady... I can grab a mile."
At the age of twenty two I now look in the mirror and smile.
My friends ask me about my successes and failures in love and to them I always say, "I love myself, which should be good enough reason for someone else to."
I never understood letting insecurities wear your crown. I look at the girls in magazines and still prefer what I see in the mirror. That is success of the self I say. That is when you're on your way to becoming the woman our generation needs. Harvesting strength and casting out weakness.
So tonight I'm gathering up my strength. Some things that life hands you are meant to be held. You hold them until you grow. So this new challenge is a challenge from the woman inside me.
Challenge is always glittering with opportunity, you just need to let the sun in to see it shimmer.