What if you could go back in time? Would you? What would you do? Would you try to find where things went wrong or relive your favorite memory over and over again? Childhood, adolescence, becoming a teenager... you thought you had all the answers then, right?
If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself? Let's go back to high school. What would you say to fifteen year old you?
Awkward you. Naive you. Impatient, rebellious, lost... you. The you that felt like a prisoner. Insecure and impulsive.
Now, we know that time travel is not a logical approach. We cannot go back in time. We can't play in those beloved memories and we definitely can't undo what has been done or change the way we thought and felt at that time. But somehow, my younger sister knew. She knew what she would have said to fifteen year old her, at age fifteen. Somehow, she managed to speak to me through her sophomore year English Creative Writing piece, and she reminded me that no matter your age, those insecurities can still linger. The "am I enough" feeling we all know from our teenage years... it doesn't disappear when you hit 20, or any year after that.
The world is full of unrealistic expectations. Simply impractical standards... and yet, we give in. We feed into them. We accept them and torture ourselves to fit in. Social media doesn't help. We live off of "likes" and "retweets". It's not just us "millennials" anymore either, all generations are sucked into the black hole that is social media. I get it. I am guilty of checking Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook numerous times a day. You can tell someone's success or happiness by what they post, right? Did you really drink if you didn't Snapchat it? Filters, effects, body editing apps... they all help to morph you into the you the world around us forces you to be. But why isn't just you enough?
My sister, like every high schooler, is at war with herself constantly. But she realized, and reminded me, that comparing yourself to everyone around you is a dead end; it gets you absolutely nowhere.
Me, Myself, and the Person I Wish I Was
By: Nicolette Perera
You look in the mirror and you are not happy.
You twist and contort your body, stretch your skin, fix your hair,
Attempting to mold into how you wish you looked.
You suck in your stomach, flex your muscles,
Yet still don’t feel good enough.
You still feel either scrawny or stout, too tall or too short.
You still feel
You try on seven different outfits, but find that
None of them satisfy your harsh standards.
The jeans fit weird,
The shirt’s sleeves are too short,
The shoes don’t match.
Your room becomes a war zone,
With clothing strewn across the floor and on your bed.
You dare to look closer into your own eyes to
Criticize all the things you hate about yourself.
You think your nose is shaped strange,
Your eye color is boring,
Your pores are too big,
Your makeup is melted off.
The mirror laughs and squeals that you’ll never look like her,
The you that is content with themself,
And rolls its eyes while laughing at the idea of you being good enough.
You feel sick to your stomach.
You stare into the eyes of the reflection that you see,
Questioning why it is yours.
Twitter demonstrates that you’re simply not funny enough,
Snapchat shows you that your life is too uneventful,
Instagram tells you that you’re ugly.
These posts are brainwashing you,
And you begin to think you are utterly insignificant.
These illusions of perfection are just that,
The only way to suppress the pain is to halt the
Otherwise, you forget all of your
All you can see are
The things you don’t have,
The flaws that devour you constantly,
The adventures you haven’t taken yet, and
The qualities you seem to lack.
Everyone posts the edited versions of themselves.
The versions that have skinny bodies,
Filters slapped on,
Completely clear, airbrushed skin.
The things you see online are not real,
They are simply hallucinogens,
Each scroll is a drug, making your eyes trick you,
Making you see this perfect persona,
When, in all actuality,
No one is perfect and,
We are all wearing masks.
These masks represent who we ache to resemble,
But, why doesn’t anyone desire and squirm to simply resemble themself?
The masquerade is over, it is time to strip ourselves of this burden,
And face reality head on, with your own bare flesh.
Look in the mirror and grin.
Exclaim “I am beautiful”.
Persistently tell yourself
“I don’t have to change myself, not one bit”,
Because why would you speak of anything but the cold hard facts?
Not too tall or too short,
Not too thin or too thick.
The moment you wake up from this daze,
The moment you realize your own true worth,
Is the moment you can finally become released of your chains and shackles.
You will no longer be a prisoner to the cycle of self hatred and comparison.
You may not need time travel. It is never too late to remind yourself who you are. You don't compare to anyone else. You're you, and you is more than enough. Your health is important; mental and physical! Do not let the "shackles" force you to be a prisoner- you can break them. It is hard to remember all the time, that I know. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back from being an adult and listen to someone who is surviving the brunt of it now.
Thanks for the reminder, Chick. I am so proud to be your big sister. XX