“For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” -Van Gogh
I’ve spent all of the time I’ve been able to comprehend comparing myself to the “beauty” of others. My family places a high importance on physical appearance, and because of this, I’ve spent a lifetime feeling unworthy of attention. I often shrink back into corners and try to become like shadows. I am an introverted extrovert.
It’s no wonder then that I have a few doubts about my self-esteem.
But why should I? Why should anyone? That’s the real problem to be addressed. The things that we value as a society aren’t the things that are valued by the hearts of those who have been touched by us. In some way. The glimpses of my soul that I share with loved ones far surpass any physical form of man-made “beauty”. If that’s the only way to judge me, then I am not beautiful.
What I am is tough, strong-willed, and rebellious. I am wild and free, and my soul sings sweetly when my heart is touched. I am a tearful person, with fragile emotions that can crack like eggshells. I am quick to anger, slow to judge, and consistently inspired to try new things. I am all of this and more, but I am not “beautiful”.
I don’t have perfect teeth or hair. My smile doesn’t stop traffic. I’m definitely a little too fluffy in all the wrong places. My nails are unkempt and my feet are a bit too wide.
What seems to matter more to others is the latter of the two paragraphs above. I wish I could explain why that is, who determined it, and why we all follow it blindly like sheep to a shepherd. Why have we diminished ourselves into something much less than what we deserve to be? And, better yet, why do we teach those who have come after us to do the same?
As a girl, I used to be fascinated with charting stars and peeking through my little telescope on the playground in my backyard. I worried often about the probability of losing my precious stars, the very ones that I devoted my little childhood to learning about and loving. I knew the stars were beautiful. I knew that those stars were even more beautiful in Colorado. I thought that after seeing the stars, I understood beauty. I did understand beauty. But then I was taught to view myself and the world differently.
I have been spoiled from the innocence of beauty in my youth.
I still find a beauty in our world, but I struggle with finding that same beauty in myself. My own values are faulty in that sense. I can tell you all about the things that make me-me, but I will always struggle with telling you about the beauty in me. Perhaps the stars themselves will lean down to whisper the blessings of their own astronomical wonders to me, and from then I may someday understand.