She had been told many things about herself over the span of her life, but she wasn’t sure that any were actually true. In third grade before making an announcement over her school’s intercom system, the office ladies told her that her voice was rather deep. She flushed with embarrassment, sure that she cared never to receive that compliment again, and fumbled her way through her speech– unusually squeaky and rushed. In sixth grade, as she sat next to her crush in science class, he told her she had silver eyes, which she clung to with fervor; her mind secretly reminded her they were in fact blue-green. In eighth grade her graduating class voted her the “Next Mother Theresa,” when she had been desperate for any other superlative…how they saw any similarities between them she hadn’t the slightest idea…but continued to mull over it for years to come.
She had been told many things about herself, but she couldn’t declare any of her own as easily. She felt a like cloud, a wisp of something no one could hold or grasp, even herself…believe it or not, she had tried. She often floated through her own existence, dreaming up scenarios in her head rather than actively pursuing a social life. She couldn’t be sure, but sometimes she liked it better there…there was less rejection, less risk. Inside her, she couldn’t disappoint herself from lack of finding the right word or being altogether witless. She could host a party in her mind and perform the role of hostess perfectly. Something she was told she didn’t have a chance at in the real world. When she did step outside herself, she wore caution like a cocktail dress.
She had been told many things about herself, and one day it occurred to her not to care. She’d grown so used to people telling her who they thought she was that she forgot entirely to stop putting stock in their words. And as she stepped bravely into accepting herself for better and for worse, she threw her caution to the wind and chose confidence instead.