Dear Past, Thank You For The Lessons.
Dear Future, I. Am. Ready.
(Dedicated with love and affection to all of the girls who never thought they were good enough)
My mother says I used to stand at the mirror on my tiptoes like a member of the Bolshoi Ballet kissing the glass.
(((S M A C K. S M O O C H.)))
“You loved yourself,” she smiled. “No matter where we were, you’d find a full-length mirror, place your hands on your little hips, get on your toes, and pucker your lips. You didn’t give a hoot who was around. You were entirely YOU.”
The thing is, I still remember. I was 6 or 7 years old. I was astounded with my wavy black hair, chubby legs, toothless smile, sassy attitude, and the fluffy pink dresses my mother bought from Sears.
I was spectacular, smart, confident. I could do anything. Achieve everything.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Adults often asked.
“A teacher. A dancer. No, wait, I want to rhyme words. An actress. Like what’s her name. I want to save cats. I want…”
I was exceptional, extraordinary. I was all these pieces and fragments and limited experiences situated together like a jigsaw puzzle. I was a baby yet to be poisoned, brainwashed, and tainted by the world’s expectations of who she should be, who she was not.
I was a vision of possibilities.
I was Pavlova, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Frida Kahlo, Judy Blume, and my Mother all wrapped into one dazzling package.
Until somebody told me otherwise.
Until somebody said, “No. You are not all of these things. You are not beautiful. You are not special. You are not who you think you are.”
Or possibly, this was the other voice inside my head. You know that voice. That nasty voice of doubt and failure. That voice that says you’re not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough, enough-enough.
I don’t know when it changes. When girls become smaller. When girls shrink into society’s lies. When does that little girl kissing the mirror stop believing in herself, loving herself?
I’m not talking about outside beauty; I’m talking about her meaning and worth in the universe.
“Do you hear me? Do you see me?”
As I write this, I think of my sister, Kay, as I always do, who confessed numerous times before her estranged husband murdered her, “All I want is to be appreciated and valued for who I am.”
And I want to
scream say to those girls, young and old ( You. & Me. )
“I SEE YOU. I Hear you. You Matter.”
Just to be perfectly clear, let me start from the beginning.
It doesn’t matter a damn what other people think of you. They don’t know you. They are nothing to you. It’s how you see yourself that will determine your path, your destiny. Those people, including my sister’s murderer, CANNOT dictate your significance and purpose in the world.
But you can. You can. YOU CAN.
Sometimes, especially when I write, I become that little girl kissing the mirror again, standing on my tiptoes, hands on my large hips, not giving a hoot who is watching.
Queen. Goddess. Poet. Servant. Lover. Mother. Girl. Woman. Warrior. Lion.
I become everything and everybody all at once.
And it is beautiful.
I Love Love Love this OPRAH clip! xxx