500 Words or Less
Loving yourself in every aspect and every point of view.
I can love myself in 500 words.
I love that I’m strong all by myself and that I don’t need anybody else to anchor me, to make me feel grounded. While the world bows down to the chaos of luscious hair, hourglass bodies, growing riches and standing taller than everybody else who walks by them, I smile at my reflection in the mirror even on the nights I look like what someone else might call a total mess of despair, a lost cause. I’m satisfied with my thin lips, my lack of abs, and my chipped fingernails, even more so because I know the journey it took to get here and I can recall how I used to see myself. I love that I’m not victim to trends that force our mindset into molds that don’t let us thrive, and that I praise my identity as the blessing that it is.
I love that I rose above my inner demons, the ones that once proudly captivated me and teased me for the definition of weak I had been, and that I can say with honesty in my moonlight whispers that I cherish me, myself and I, rather than pine and claw for someone’s arms around my waist just so I can remember how to feel. I love that the voice in the back of my head doesn’t criticize me anymore, and that my heart doesn’t have guilty cravings for a person who doesn’t care about me. I love that the seeds my enemies and ex-friends planted in my lungs with every intention to suffocate me, grew into flowers of delightful scents that I learned to breathe around, and that I am now a garden rather than a desolate field.
I love that I found security with my fingertips caressing my own shoulders while I lay in bed, that I don’t rely on somebody else to shield me. I don’t grip tightly to the backstabbers who tell me they love everything about me and lie and lie and lie and lie. I have parted ways from the betrayers and I’m happy even in anxieties because of how I can feel the heartbeat that drums at the back of my ears telling me that I’m surviving, I’m alive, that I’m breathing. It speaks a language that I finally understand, a code that I have officially deciphered. I love that my tears are now joy, that my darkness has found electricity, my nightmares are dreams and that my worn down being is bandaged. I heal myself more and more every single day.
I love that I don’t settle for less. I’m aware of what I deserve and nobody else is granted permission to tell me otherwise. I love that I fought my battles for myself, I conquered, and I earned my own victories. I stand firmly on top of the world, knowing that I rightfully belong there. I love that I’m crazy and a bit of an airhead every once in a while too because that’s exactly who I am.
I can love myself in 400 words, too.
I love the mystery in me. The part of me that begs people to look into my eyes, knowing darn well that they’re not going to be able to understand the blocks that build me unless they choose to take the time to draw me out. I’m not an open book because not everyone deserves to know me. I don’t have to give in to other people’s standards of perfection and success, and I’m aware to step back from people who make me unnecessarily overwhelmed. I’m not the people please-r I used to be. I know not everyone is going to be happy with me and I also know that I wasn’t made to please everyone. It’s simply impossible, and most of the time, painful. What’s the use of putting expectations on ourselves if we’re just going to get hurt in the end? I navigate through my own life. I make my own mistakes. I fall short on my terms, and I learn from those experiences. I own up to my insanity that others might struggle to accept. My regrets are mine to keep because I’m fed up with other people telling me how to live my life. They don’t know me! They don’t know what it’s like to have the heart in my chest, the brain concealed in my skull, the feet that I walk on, or my butterfly-filled stomach, and for that reason they have no right of way to command my body in directions that are aimless to me.
I couldn’t draw if it meant life or death. My circles turn up with points, like some ill-stricken star, and my stars are dimmed down into blurry circles. I couldn’t be an artist if I wished upon every fuzz of a dandelion. I don’t have the patience to get there. I’d be too frustrated that the final didn’t turn out the way it looked in my mind, and I’d rip it to pieces when the colors didn’t align just right, but that’s okay because that’s not a standard I set for myself. That’s a roadway for somebody else, but not me. Neither could I sing, nor could I dance, but I can find simplicity in words. I can deliver calming poetry if there are ears willing to listen to me. I love that I’m good, kind, mild, fair --that I can be a winner in my own style.
300 words is just as simple.
I love the scars on my knees, on my elbows, on my ankles, and even the one in between my toes from the sharp rock I didn’t notice while I walked the sandy shores. Like that memory, they tell me stories that make me reminisce on my childhood. Among my naivety and innocence, I was wanderlust and curious. It’s a piece of me that never left. I might not have the time to be that adventurous anymore, since I had to grow up, but I take advantage of the seconds they speak to me. Sometimes, nostalgia isn’t so bad after all, as much as I used to be afraid of it.
I love the scars beneath the surface that took millions of stitches to guide my heart to healing. My friend, who I fell so deeply in love with, but who I never told and who is no longer with us now was the first and only one to notice the darkness that used to be concealed inside of me. He liked to say that he was just as messed up as I am, and that that was why he couldn’t pretend he didn’t see it. He meant it too.
He never left my side until he didn’t have a choice. While he was around, he did fix me in every part that I was broken. I mourned and grieved him like I’ve never mourned or grieved before, but I love that scar anyway. The scar that returned when he went away shouts that I was one of the fortunate souls that was blessed with his presence, and I’d do it all over again if I had to. I love how he’s a part of me, engraved, it might be my favorite part of me if I had to choose.
200 words isn’t so hard either.
I love that I’m one of those irritating socks we always lose so we can’t make a pair. I love that sometimes I’ve the very epitome of writer’s block or room temperature coffee. Sure, I might not be exactly what people sign up to have, and I might be more frustrating than anything else some days, but I figure myself out and I live with the person I am. I can rock mismatched socks and turn it into my lucky charm. I can push through the agony of writer’s block and give myself reason to be dedicated and to overcome, to climb out of hardship stronger. I can work with the bitterness of a lonely coffee and turn it into a lovely dessert. I think outside the box, and it seems to me that the new angle has imprinted ideas on my mind that wouldn’t have been able to register otherwise. I know better than ever that happiness doesn’t come from longer hair or a lower number on the scale. I’d be empty with or without these things, but it’s not impossible to be happy regardless of what goes on around us. I can find joy within myself. I have.
And in 100 words, I love myself too.
I love that I can embrace myself. There’s an infinite amount of why’s to be proud to be a human being, and being blind to that means missing out on a ton. When I admire the moon, the sun, the stars, the flowing river, the autumn leaves or the pale fluffy clouds, I didn’t stop to think about which one was prettiest. They’re beautiful in their own way, and I know with the human race, it’s the same. We are eye candies of different flavors. Each of us are one in billions, and that includes me, uniquely stunning, beyond compare.
My goodness, I love myself even with boundaries and limitations, and I love myself without them. I love myself every single day. The real me, no matter what happens.
That’s a vow.