She was the girl who…
April 29th, 2011
Common Roots Cafe
Eating the best egg, cheese, and tomato on a sesame bagel in all of the world
Sun blasting (dare I say too warm) through the windows, warming my back as I write
Today in class we did a “perspective switching,” exercise, writing about our lives in third person. The reason we do this is to stand outside of ourselves, widen our perspective, and cultivate compassion for ourselves and our journeys. When we write about our lives as if we are standing outside of ourselves, we can view our lives from a different angle, illuminating parts of our lives that we may miss in the first-person “I” perspective.
One of the most common, endearing, and validating outcomes that arise from this exercise is a consensus of feeling “different.” We all can remember feeling “different” from our peers and sometimes even from our families. Isn’t it ironic that this feeling of separateness is actually the very thing we all share in common in this human journey of life?
One of the students in my class shared her writing with all of us. I wish you could have been there to hear her words as she read. Plucked the tears right out of my eyes. I’m damn near still crying. To preserve her anonymity, I will refer to her as Brave. Because that is what she is…
She was the girl who didn’t mind getting in the mud. She was the girl who would rather play with the boys and trucks than with girls and barbies. She was the girl who wouldn’t want to come in from a long day outside. She was the girl who didn’t care what other people thought.
She was the girl who started maturing early. She was the girl who in middle school got her first boyfriend. She was the girl that started seeing she was different than all the other girls. She was the girl that was “overweight.” She was the girl who didn’t feel good enough. She was the girl that used scissors and lighters to try and take the pain away. She was the girl that wouldn’t stop losing weight. She was the girl that only weighed 92 pounds at 14 years old. She was the girl who was wanting to be skinny at any cost.
She was the girl who got pregnant at 15. She was the girl who realized she had to give up skinny for her baby. She was the girl who was told she was going to be a failure if she didn’t get rid of her baby. She was the girl who proved everyone wrong.
She was the girl who struggled with school and having a baby. She was the girl determined to be successful. She was the girl who thought she wasn’t going to make it.
She IS the girl who is graduating on time.
She is the girl who proved everyone wrong!
I am grateful to “Brave” for sharing her story, for it is the within the stories we share that bring us together, that deepen our understanding of ourselves, and that bring us closer to personal and global healing. Let us be brave and compassionate toward each other with whom we share our wild, wild journeys on this beautiful blue planet.