My mother used to tell me that I lived my life in closed energy.
When I go out, I watch guys talk to other girls
When I go out, I get in the car knowing I’m the last option to be approached.
When I go out, I go out knowing that I won’t even try to meet anyone-
Because what’s the point if they wouldn’t have looked at me in the first place?
For a while, I convinced myself that it was just how I functioned-
It was just how Aquariuses worked.
That there was no remnant of my ex-boyfriend.
Or the anxiety of what they wanted from me-
Because in college, it’s okay to want everyone for their bodies,
Not their mind.
And there would be that feeling that began to bubble from the tip of my toes to the top of my head
That I would become so severely unwanted-
Because in college, it’s okay for your personality to not be enough.
But I live with confidence.
I make sure every room I step in has room for me in it,
and I wear heeled shoes just so I can see the world from a new perspective.
I am loud and bold and passionate.
I am a born leader and I love fiercely-
But as my mother once told me,
I am so confident in everything until it comes to love.
I am emphatic and charismatic and unapologetic-
I laugh with myself even when others won't laugh with me,
and I create things that I'm proud of even when there's no one there to see them.
But love makes me feel like the last flower in the field that will never get picked,
Or a flier on a corkboard for a club that no one goes to-
Or the stuffed animal that'll sit on the shelf for all of eternity until the dust settles on top, and it's thrown away.
Maybe that was the leftover residue of a ten-minute breakup in a Chick-Fil-A parking lot when I was sixteen.
Maybe it was my unwavering nature or an already destined path-
Cut out in the dirt like a grave.
Because in the end, the college boy didn't give a shit about
the dreams that I had since I could wish on stars
or the movies that shaped me to be who I am.
Because the college boy didn't ever want to know
the names of my stuffed animals
or why I make playlists for books I'll probably never write.
In the end, I always figured that he would leave-
Because I would be Overbearing,
And I took it as truth.
I’m not a flirt.
I don't know how to articulate my words to where my sentences don't run together,
and I don't have a very good filter when I'm anxious.
I can barely hold a conversation at a party without a request for a Taylor Swift song or shifty eye contact.
I’m no Bella Swan who could stumble across campus and still pull an Edward Cullen and Jacob Black-
I’m an over-thinker who folds sticky notes to mark her place in her books,
who loves meditation and reading and self-expression,
who is able to remind a friend of who they are,
but somehow struggles to remind herself.
I fall in line with the kinds of girls who reach for the stars,
So that they know what stardust feels like,
who become emotionally attached to fictional characters because they feel seen,
who love colored pens and painting rocks.
Women who are so unapologetic
that the only thing she seems to apologize for
in the mirror that night.
This is an ode to myself and to the girls
who wondered if they’d ever look half as pretty as Katniss Everdeen.
Even now in college, I needed to hear this-
I needed someone to “speak my language”
You are wanted,
And you will be loved.
We all are deserving of it,
Even you- the hopeless romantic who spent their time
worried about if their book pages got crinkled in their backpack,
Or if their fan edit hit a certain number of views.
Because even if you can’t believe it-
Even if you think that sooner or later you’ll scare them,
There will be someone who stays.
Who will love you just as fiercely as you love them.
Who will hold on tight to you
because to them,
You are a gemstone sifted over a thousand times through.
You are you.
And that is more than enough.