Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
I was never beautiful.
I can stare at pictures of then, of before, and I see awkward. I see half a foot too tall and 3 dress sizes too big. I see myself lurching over my friends, eyes downcast, ashamed of who I was, who I could not help but be.
I see a creature unable to find her womanhood, so cast off it had become. Calloused to insult, to ignorance, to the odd yet simply fact that she couldn’t possibly be sexual, or loved, or wanted.
My youth was never wonderful in that way. I never flowered or blossomed underneath someone, convinced anyone who did show interest would eventually come to mock me. I rarely held the power in my hand, except for a brief few months when I was 17, and on a manic rampage of sorts. I stared wistfully at the pretty girls, the skinny girls, and observed the control they held, the magnificence they grasped for their time in the sun.
I would never be pretty. No one would call me beautiful, not ever. My only power came from knowing such things were fleeting, and in time, pointless.
Not that it helped then, or now. Even the ugly duckling eventually grew wings.
(Quadelle had a fab idea to do a series of posts based on phrases from Mary Schmich’s commencement address . [You may remember it better as a “song” by Baz Luhrmann] I thought it was a great idea, so, I stole it. Or copied. Whatever. Imitation is the soul of wit. Or brevity. Or both. )