Can you just not be you? Except the messages are mixed as opinions change like the weather. Liven up, quieten down. Speak up, don’t interject. Be confident, but never loud. Can you just be anything other than how you are?
"I used to think that I was particularly white-washed as child, admiring only Aurora from Sleeping Beauty or Belle from Beauty and the Beast. My imagination was stunted when it came to Pocahontas or Mulan. Now, as an adult, I have examined my thoughts and I realise that I only allowed myself to admire Disney princesses that I could change myself enough to become."
Yet here is what I can do; I can remind them that they are magic to every life they touch. This is a shout of love into the void of pain, reminding you, my beloved friend, that to feel alone is but an illusion. You will never stand alone, you always have me. I will be your fortitude, your crutch and your cheerleader whenever the need arises. I cannot solve your problems, but I will ensure that you do not face them alone.
‘You are meaner than your demons, colder than your pain and braver than your last thought.’
If we accept that fact, that We Are All One, as true then another intrinsic truth arises that we cannot ignore. If we were to live as though no one, even those who wrong us in the worst ways, were a part of how soul in need of love rather than condemnation, then we would never lack. There would be Enough.
I understand something I didn’t as a teenager. We can be on anti-depressants or in therapy and still experience moments so sharply brilliant that we laugh until our chests hurt. We can fret over living with our parents until our thirties and still receive a hug from a friend that is filled with such love that life is, momentarily, fixed and whole once more.
To my playschool kindred spirit whom I will never do the disservice of forgetting. To my primary school best friend who indulged all of my creative whims with a beautiful, open mind. To my secondary school brother-in-arms who gave me permission to present as exactly myself each day without exception. To my university soul sister, who breathes glitter and electric love to this day. To the friends of old, who’s imprints do not fade.
As a child, I was always one to feel guilt quickly and regret often. My mother uttered; 'Just let it go, Jen' more times than I can remember. Now, with a somewhat genetic complex for guilt and anxiety, I have noticed the toll that 'cancel culture' and social media is having on my own mind.
I don't remember the first time I thought that I would die from this sickness. But I do remember the first time I hoped I would.
On that day, a day when a fluid definition of success flows through our veins, I know that we will cheer louder for each other than anyone else because truly, we'll have earned it, deserving a time where our creativity knows no bounds.