Everyone: How are you feeling today?
Me: anxious and self- conscious.
Everyone: Oh? (Taken aback)
Me: yeah. I feel life is crashing down on me. Like I’m in the middle of the ocean and I’m drowning. There is not enough air yet my lungs keep on working. I put so much pressure on myself that I’m constantly up all night listing my failures. There are times where I think I’m damned because I wasn’t spontaneous enough. Why didn’t I sell all my possessions and move to the amazon to fight off poachers? Why, why, why– my life is a constant wave of unanswered questions that demand my psyche to spread itself wide open. I am climbing stairs that have no destination. I am riding an elevator and the ping never happens. I’m falling and yet, I never crash. I feel like I’m waiting for this huge, unmistakable event in my life. The fork in the road with a bedazzled sign that says, “right here”. I’m waiting and I am waiting some more and in the lapse of time that I’m impatiently waiting, my heartbeat picks up a beat that is unnatural. Today, I woke up and I thought I was beautiful. That’s how most of my days go. I look in the mirror and think one good trait about myself. Most days, it’s about my eyes. The shape, the color, or the way they light up when I admire myself. But then the day dwindles on-I notice an even prettier girl than me and I begin to doubt myself, the cute guy I pass by doesn’t notice me and I blame myself, the way my jeans slide lower, exposing my belly fat, makes me hate myself, the cover girl winking at me from a magazine clouds my judgement as I consider extreme measures to look exactly like her. Society chips away at my self-esteem like a chisel. Chip, chip, chip away at my self-love. Make me hate my brown skin, curly hair, and mixed features. I am everything in the morning and I revert back into a clay that needs to be molded once again at night. I am lucky in most ways but I am also unfortunate. Like every person bound to this earth by flesh and bone, I am loved by God but like everyone else, I allow the fermented hate of others to destroy the image I have of myself. God loves me the way I am, so why do I allow others to ruin that pure, unconditional love? Life takes a toll on us all but it is the people who take the time to learn from the challenges thrown their way that are truly inspirational.