Countless times in life, especially when meeting new people, I've been asked to describe myself in one word, or three, or five. To say my favorite color, or movie, or song title as if that will magically tell them everything about who I am, but that isn't a description and no one should be expected to reduce themselves to a few words simply to try to show a stranger who they are. I don't even know who I am! And likely I'd only show them the appealing things anyways as if that’s what I really thought of myself. But if I could describe myself without worrying about what anyone would think, I'd say:
I’m conflicted, a walking, talking, breathing contradiction. I'm smart, but I feel really dumb because I say the wrong things too often because I care too much and try to fix things when the only thing I should be doing is keeping my mouth shut. At best, I feel average, in every way possible and most days I despise the way I look despite the healthy weight I've maintained my entire life, although some days I don't even give a damn and if it wasn't for that tiny sliver of worry holding me back i would walk outside in that dress that’s been in my closet for the past year or those shorts that I thought would look good on me Not for attention or praise but because for once, I feel confident and I should be allowed to! But no, society has taught me that even at a size zero I can't be happy and that I can only dress for other peoples benefit.
Average, should I really feel average with the numbers “3.9” posted my transcript as I apply for colleges and scholarships because I do, as if those numbers are just poisoning my chances at an education. I was so close, but not close enough. I didn’t work hard enough, I didn’t try for that other .1 "some people have above a 4.0 you know…"
If I was to describe myself, I would be damn sure not to mention the antidepressants I take every morning or the anxiety that occasionally cripples me to an unbelievable degree despite my ability to get up in front of crowds and cheer my heart out or meet new people seemingly without worry. But to me, it feels like magic.. Because some days the thought of calling a stranger on the phone reduces me to tears and I remember the days where talking to a teacher and getting a mild lecture would send me spiraling into a blubbering mess. I remember being told I needed to work on my "coping skills" because I cried when me- a straight A student of 12 years old- got in trouble for forgetting to print out an assignment for geography class the night before it was due.
If I was to describe myself, I would say that I'm a Christian, I absolutely love Jesus, and I only wish that I could live my life the right way because I mess up countless times every single day. And I know it. I say that I will work on doing better with every intention to do so, but the road to hell is paved with them you know.. one thing were almost never taught in Sunday school is just how hard it really is. We’re taught to turn to him when things get hard but there are so many other things in life that comfort us. porcelain bowls and razor blades console us, cigarettes calm us down, and that bottle may just make us forget what a loser we are for a little while. But the problem is not that I don’t love him, I do love Jesus but sometimes I forget that he loves me.
Maybe it’s because he’s supposed to be my father and the only father I’ve ever known is full of empty promises and empty words. He smells of smoke and looks like regret but he won’t do a damn thing about it, and why do I have to call him first, why do I have to be the bigger person? I’m almost 18 but I’m still his child.
If I was to describe myself I would say, tired, I’m really tired.. do I always have to be the one to try to make a relationship work? One sided friendships and fake smiles are all I seem to have. I’m scared I’m underestimating someone but Im afraid to believe that they could care about me.
I really could keep going, I really could write a book but the saddest part of it all is that on all those pages I wouldn’t mention my artistic ability, or the way I’ll drop anything for a friend if they need me even though few are gems who will return the favor.. My first thought wouldn’t be to tell you about the fact that I love my eyes and the way they can compose things through a camera lens. I wouldn’t say “I’ve painted most of the artwork in my room” or “I play guitar.” I wouldn’t say “Maybe caring to much about people isn’t really a bad thing.”
If I was to describe myself I’d say: five words right? Well okay.. My name is Kelly and I’m learning to love myself.