Who am I?
I see people around me, confident about themselves. Confident about loving purple, confident in wearing heels, confident in writing profound posts, deep posts, happy posts. I’m hardly ever confident in myself.
Do I really know who I am?
I want to go back, back to when I was confident. Back to when I was eleven, and I knew who I was, what I wanted, and who I loved. I want to stay there, forever, taking on the world in that mindset.
I want to be able to fly, to soar, to follow my dreams without a feeling of failing. Not failing myself, but failing others that I care about. I want to watch the world slide by me, I want to touch and feel, I want to smell and taste.
I want to be able to run and scream, to breathe deeply again. I want to be able to eat fish again, and splurge on cinnamon rolls. I want my stick legs back, and the confidence that regardless of my hairstyle or color, I was still beautiful. My freckles were unique, my mindset unbeatable, and I could take each thing in a stride.
But I couldn’t.
And so I lost me. I tried to hold on to her, I tried to hug her tight, but one night as I sobbed and looked at the stars, she just left. Turned her little pixie head, gave a simple laugh, and flew away, reaching for the stars.
The stars she swore to hold.
She left me behind. And so I flounder, wondering who I am. How I’m supposed to continue the path she began. How can I continue blazing the trail? How can I follow my dreams, when people say they won’t every be.
I want so badly to be all she dreamed. I want to make her proud, I want to take on the world with the same laughing indifference. I want to wear Converse with the same wide smile, feel confident about wearing a Hersey shirt, and drink tea while popcorn’s still in my mouth with the same giggle.
I want to be happy about being told my eyes, freckles, and hair are all “brown.” I want to be fine with my hair, I want to be proud of being tall, I want to grin and introduce myself to strangers, to hear their stories again. I want to dare the boys, and beat them in races without keeling over.
I want to sing.
I want to dance.
I want to be eleven.
But I’m not. I’m old now, Neverland doesn’t exist. I can’t dance without coughing and getting a headache. I can only sing on good days. I hate my brown hair, the weird mane that hangs off my head. I can’t race anymore, so instead I sit on the sofa.
I haven’t had popcorn and tea combined in ages. I haven’t looked at the stars without a pang of regret. And I no longer reach for them.
Some people would say I’m growing up.
Some people would say I’m still young.
Some people would say that this always happens to people.
But I say that it’s hard and terribly unjust. I’m not ashamed of the child that I was. I’m not ashamed of what I did, or the things I enjoyed. I’m proud of her, and gosh, I miss her. I want to see her again, I want to feel her again. I want to be her again.
I don’t want to be conflicted about colors, wondering why I like people’s pink feeds, but hate the idea of my own. I don’t know why purple draws my eyes, but I stay in blues and grays.
I don’t know why I am who I am.
And everyone comes to that point. I’m waiting for me to figure it all out. I’m waiting for someone to point out something that gives me security. Who says, “You’re Amie. Amie likes this, Amie does that, Amie is this.”
I’m waiting for someone to say that they still see old me. That the child never left, she’s just buried deep inside, underneath walls and bandages I put up to protect her. She’s hiding from the world that threatened to kill her.
The world that said she was wrong. The world that said she was ugly. The world that said she was weird. The world that didn’t accept her, and instead shattered her dreams, tore out her heart, trampled on it, and gave it back.
The world gave it back and said, “Here, this is what your heart should look like.”
So she took her heart and fixed it, but swore no one would see it again. The world was cruel and terrible. The world hated her. And so she would hate the world back, keeping her own self safe.
But she’s grown. She’s realized that it doesn’t work. Isolation ruins a soul, like yeast ruins good wine. Does that mean she can wear the broken heart on her sleeve?
No. The damage is done, the hurt runs deep. But she can be real. She doesn’t have to hide, because regardless of the world, she’s met people who treasure the childlike side of her wild life. They don’t want her to hide behind her stoic face, they don’t laugh at the tears that fall from her eyes.
And they don’t want her to disappear into her mind, they don’t want her to hide in her own imaginary Neverland.
Has the child changed?
Mm. Most certainly. She’s still growing into her over-sized frame. She’s still stressing about the cost of clothes for a tall human, and the fact that she’s not what she once was. But she’s also realized something.
The pixie that flew toward the stars wasn’t her. It wasn’t the child within, it was just a the childlike innocence that let her view the world as a sparkling wonder land. Now she sees reality, she sees emotions, but most of all because the pixie isn’t next to her shedding the light on her world, the child is able to see the stars brighter than ever, she can see the shadows, but she isn’t scared.
Because the child isn’t alone and the shadows aren’t severe.
Shadows and stars, mixing, painting her world with their gentle finger tips.