An Ode to the Girl I Was

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Be your own friend and

Dance to the rhythm that you set and

Sing the lyrics that you wrote and

Be your own song—an ode to yourself.

There’s a part of me that has always felt so afraid to share myself. When I was younger I would hold on to me so tightly as if to contain any amounts of light from peaking through the cracks. Sometimes I would even stifle my smile and wonder if my laugh was out of place. I think that a large part of this is because my childhood was the first time I understood that a person could be liked or disliked. When I remember those times, my heart wants to soothe the girl I was back then. If she had known that the liking or disliking of someone was subjective, she would have been softer to herself.

In the perspective of a young girl—where a side eye is a side eye, and a “you’re not pretty” is a “you’re not pretty,” and an “I don’t want to play with you” is an “I don’t want to play with you”— there is no discerning between the lines for an alternate and plausible truth. It simply is just so. And so, how could one easily understand later in life that the words spoken were not actually what was meant?

As an adult its interesting how these types of things manifest. For a while I found myself over-accommodating for others without any boundaries. I would give them so much space to roam free until I became depleted. Then I would worry if I was being too offensive when I finally got the courage to speak up. Needless to say, this was not a healthy way of relating to anyone. It took me a while to grasp that any type of relationship that comes at the expense of me is not real. Real connection is symbiotic and equally nurturing. So today, I practice a little more discernment with the people who I allow to enter into my space.

In a way I feel like I’ve come full circle. I’m still cautious about who I share myself with, but not from a place of fear. Instead, from a place of self love and honor.