When I was 9 years old, after years of my father walking in and out of my life, he left me for good.
At 9, with a lacking understanding of what love meant, in that one moment I didn't need a definition
The only connotation I needed was hurt.
And as I cried over the only picture I had of us together my sub-conscious abandoned my all too destroyed conscious. It seemed to turn on me in my time of need, because every cell in my body screamed -
"Not worth it. "
"Not good enough. "
As I ripped that unforgiving piece of paper into shreds, my body ached.
My mother found me on my floor over the remnants and I asked "Mama, why doesn't he love me?"
In middle school, when I started crushing on my first boy, I worked desperately to get him to be mine. Laughed at all of his jokes, but at the end I was left wearing a clowns mask He said he liked my best friend.
It felt like a sucker punch to my ego, and I heard it again-
"Not worth it"
"Not good enough"
By high school, my mother had tired of humoring me when I asked if I was pretty, or why no one liked me.
My questions were always met with angry remarks, and pleas to shut up.
Mom never was a women to remind her children of those things, just assumed they'd know it like she did. But with over half the people I knew, from my classmates, to my grandparents, constantly reminding me that I was inadequate...
Well, I could never be sure.
I had met a boy, so perfect I was sure he was the one. This boy gave me attention, ran his hands on my sides when he thought no one was looking, and had a smile that made goosebumps glide across my body.
I waited for him for 2 years, always hoping, and in that time he managed to go through most of my friends, which seemed to me to be a vicious circle, that my existence was stuck in the middle of.
"Not worth it "
"Not got enough."
My head screamed "Why doesn't he love me?"
My tears blurred the distance between my reality and a dream land of acceptance
But then the world shifted into focus-
I felt a click in the back of my mind, and the biggest pain I have ever felt in my life was when I had to ask myself-
"Why don't I love me?"
And it wasn't until I started liking what I saw in the mirror, that I started realizing how much I hated my out look on life. I realized that-
I never want my daughter to think that by carving painfully beautiful lines into her flesh it will make looking at her body more tolerable.
I never want my son to pump iron, because he can't afford to get his stomach pumped.
I never want my children to look in the mirror and wish that they could smash that forsaken glass with their hand and then rearrange it. Trying to make a new identity with the puzzle pieces left in the destruction
And I never want to feel the pain my mother felt when I asked her if my insurance would cover plastic surgery.
My child, if there is ever a day when I don't remind you how beautiful, kind, intelligent, and intriguing you are, no matter your age-
Feel free to tell me to get my shit together
Because in a world where seemingly more attractive people are paid almost a dollar more an hour, and the media shoves this idea of perfection down our throats, and peddles us their diet pills coated in self-esteem, and displays their mannequins with unreachable waist sizes, and then has the audacity to display broadcasted mass-media pictures that tell us that "All women are beautiful. " but only portray girls of one ethnic background, one body size, and one height,
I am NOT doing my job right if I don't remind you that in this crazy world we live in, I don't give a damn what other people think about you
My child, your science class lied to you.
The sun only rises in the morning to try and compete with the brightness and wonder of your smile, and then sets every evening because it has accepted defeat for the day.
My daughter, you will not sleep with boys in the hopes that some how their empty condom covered compliments will make you more desirable
You will slept with men not because you need to, but because you know that you are desirable, that you are the women that every boy wants, but only a man can get.
My son, you will never thrust your insecurities through girls when your back and your soul ache from carrying the baggage of your broken confidence. You will know that memorable sex is only achieved by memorable men, and that can only happen with a man that remembers who he is when the night is over.
And it is my hope to you, and to myself, that we know what it means to love ourselves and each other, for not what we look like, but for how beautiful we are inside. Because a gorgeous outside with a rotten inside, is surely the biggest tragedy of life.