When I was younger, I craved perfection.
I saw what I admired and wanted to copy it. I wanted to achieve, succeed, nail it on the first go.
I wanted control. I needed praise. I clutched onto my fragile autonomous self like a security blanket.
My mom would boast to her friends about me and I would growl, “I am my own self.” My successes were the product of my doings; my failures were my responsibility. Mine.
That was my motto. It became the mantra of my life.
By myself, I could succeed. I was efficient, fast. I developed my own style, uninhibited by others. I was endlessly creative and stubborn. Wild and independent.
I grew up with an idea of how I wanted things to unfold. If they unfolded as I wanted, then I was happy. If they didn’t unfold as I planned, I was sad. Simple as that.
My life was a tumultuous roller-coaster ride that I believed I was steering.
But I wasn’t. Not at all.
It’s different now.
I’ve swapped perfection for unexpected turns, wandering walks and dark chocolate indulged in under the moon. I’ve exchanged it for early morning swims and checkout-line friendships.
I’ve exchanged it for beauty and laughter.
I’ve learned that, in others, we find bits and pieces of people we are to become. I’ve learned, instead of being the girl who can do it alone, to be the girl who shares the weight—to smile at our common victories and find strength in our common downfalls.
I still shout, “I am my own self.”
I feel sexy and liberated when I’ve done something great for myself and others.
But the meaning is different now.
I revel in my unique journey, but have let go of the need to steer. I launch into that roller coaster car, strap myself in and close my eyes.
I trust that I am safe. I trust those who ride beside me.
My hair will be messed and my heart will be pounding, but I will have fun.
I used to believe that the beautiful things were things that took effort, constant maintenance and endless attention. Today I know that the beautiful things are a little more crooked, a little darker, a little madder and a lot better.
The beautiful things are already knocking—all we have to do is open the door.
Author: Kyra Hogan
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
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