I sit on the gray tweed couch in silence.
Alone in my new apartment, after living with family for the last nine months. It is quiet. The hum of the air-conditioner pushing air through the vent above me.
I have spent days unpacking the memories from my previous home. One box at a time. Each greets me with surprise. The things inside familiar, but briefly forgotten during their time in storage. Prompting thoughts of the highs and lows of my earlier life.
On the good days, I was strong with a sense of purpose. Ambitious. Independent. An inspiration to others. And on the bad days, I was alone. Not physically, but emotionally. Isolated. Ignored. I merely existed until the next good day.
“May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Our life wasn’t always that way.
It started as a stereotypical love story you would see in a movie, bursting with bliss. We held hands on our evening walks through busy downtown neighborhoods. Strangers stopped us on the street to comment on our palpable love for one another. We laughed. We rode bicycles to the farmer’s market every Saturday where we carefully selected vegetables for the week. We talked about the future, about having babies, and traveling. And yet, somehow it led me to a place of deep sadness.
As I unfold the flaps of another cardboard box to look inside, my eyes stop on a few small items carefully wrapped in green Bubble Wrap. Picking up one of them, gently pulling back the verdant layers—I see her.
She lived in my old home. The one I shared with him.
I am reminded of feelings of sadness, betrayal, and somehow love, as I reflect on our life together. A life that didn’t feel genuine. My chest aches. Tears form in my eyes. I smile as I am reminded that I am safe now.
Mesmerized by the glass figurine:
She is a woman.
Spinning in circles from a clear tethered string, suspended in air. As she moves, the sun highlights the tips of her purple feet, her swirling rainbow of pink, purple, and blue hair with hints of gold glitter.
A mixture of perfectly chosen colors and patterns, artfully pieced together, creating her beautiful glass composition; as intricate as any one of us.
She is fragile.
Her thin body of red arches backward as her heart opens, letting her arms fall out to the sides in a carefree expression. Knees together, feet dangling. Her perfectly sculpted waist and round ass. Her breasts of pale colored marbled glass. Her nipples hard.
She is exposed.
Free falling. Surrendering to only herself.
She is acceptance—to be unique, to be herself.
She is free.
I am free.
For much of my life, I have let fear guide my decisions…and sometimes I still do.
But the girl who lived in that house, lived from a place of fear. Voiceless, feeling powerless. The glass figurine symbolizes strength, power, and self-love.
She is a gentle reminder of our choices.
We can remain confined by the limitations of others’ opinions, feeling unfulfilled and limiting our true potential, or we can choose to live our truth. Listen to the voice inside, and let it guide you.
She is every one of us, if we choose.