I've always wanted to reinvent myself. I've always wanted to be different than who I really am.
Since the moment I had an inkling of what others were like, I thought that I had to imitate, mimic, and resemble them. I wanted to be like everyone else, but myself.
There was this girl I went to elementary school with - "Kelly". I think it started with her. She had beautiful Nellie Olsen curls, a witty smile, eyes that made the room light up, and always dressed in just the right way. I wanted to be her. I'd lay in bed at night, praying, hoping, and wishing I could be like her. If I could just look like her and act like her, everyone in class would like me. I'd sometimes cry quietly in my bed asking God why he made me look and act like I did.
I was the little girl with glasses, hand-me-down clothes, and always in a pulled-together-at-the-last-minute ponytail. We all wore uniforms to school, but mine always felt like they fit wrong. I would fidget all day while Kelly always sat sweetly in front row with her sparkly smile and face full of perfect freckles. She was who I wanted to be...had to be.
We moved many times and I always found a "Kelly" to imitate, to look up to. It was so unhealthy, now that I look back.
I look at photos of myself when I was little. I was beautiful. I radiated goodness. I had a dazzling smile. I rocked those glasses like nobody's business. I wish I could have seen myself or had someone to emphasize those qualities in me at the time.
Up until recently, this year in fact, I looked up to and wished I was the "Kelly" of the moment. I wanted the perfect-looking scenes of a life without worry, the white picket fence scenario, and the clothes and body to match. I forgot that I already have that.
As Popeye says, "I am who I am." I love who I've become. I love that I'm like a lotus flower. Planted into shit and mud, I have blossomed into a flower of magnificence. I am unique and a rare find. I am beautiful.
I grew up with this idea of what beauty was supposed to be, when all along I should have been looking in the mirror. My kindness shows in my eyes. My love for others is felt in the hugs I give. My voice gives words of inspiration, encouragement, and empowerment to those who need to hear it. My ears will listen to what needs to be heard.
I am so wonderfully made. I no longer need to look for a "Kelly" anymore...or anyone else for that matter. I have nothing to prove. The only person that needs to accept me, is well...ME.
It took every day of these forty years of life to come to that conclusion. I'm happy I finally grew up and became me.
Be who you really are. It's a wonderful sight to see.