When you look at me--whether it's meeting me for lunch or through the tiny, circle profile picture on Facebook--what is it that you see?
Is it my chocolate brown hair, with just a hint of highlights from being out in the sun? Or maybe it's my eyes? Forest green in the middle, surrounded by a ring of light brown, both containing specs of gold. Perhaps, like most of the world, you see my smile? A smile where my teeth are slightly white, my bottom teeth crowding together (just like my dad's).
When you see me walking--either at the store, around campus trying to make it to my next class, or even walking into church--what is it that you see?
It might be the way my eyes squint slightly, making me look angry when it's honestly just my face. Maybe it's the way I clutch my Bible into my chest as if I could press the words into my soul. The clothes I wear might catch your attention; somedays I wear black leggings, old, dirty converse, and my dad's old Carolina sweatshirt, that holds stains in its fibers from when he worked on the house. Other days, I wear jeans that hug my legs, paired with black, heeled boots and a sweater, with my makeup done to perfection (at least my idea of it).
When you see me in the library--studying for the next big Communication test, letting myself become submerged into an amazing book, or sipping on a café au lait with my friends--what is it that you see?
Is it the way I nod to myself when I finally get the definition right on my hot, bright-pink flashcard? Is it the way my eyes follow every line of the book as if it were the last time I'd ever read? Is it the way my lips meet the lid of my coffee cup, showing that I'm bracing myself to feel the burn of the delectable liquid hit my tongue?
You'll see many different things when you see me--through a profile picture, walking around campus, or in the library sipping coffee--but not all of them are me.
When you look at my appearance, you don't see how passionate I am about my family, friends, animals, and my faith. You don't see how hard I work to perfect each assignment I turn in, wanting to be the very best at what I do. You don't get to see how hard I laugh when I find something truly, truly funny (although it doesn't take much).
Above all, when you look at my appearance, you don't see the struggles that I have been through. You didn't see the tears that fell down my face when I thought no one could fall in love with me. You didn't see my heart fall to pieces when my dog crossed the rainbow bridge, and I realized there aren't any visiting hours. You didn't see how damaged I was behind a smile that shined.
But, you also didn't see how I picked myself up, made myself stronger, embracing the different emotions that came my way. You didn't see the moment I finally embraced who I was and fell in love with myself.
There is more to me than what meets the eye, as there is for most everyone. It takes someone brave enough to make the choice to dive into the unknown and be able to see the parts of someone you can not physically see.