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Let’s talk about beauty for a minute.

Your beauty or worth is not determined by anyone other than you. Yes, it’s nice to hear from someone that you are beautiful, but don’t wait for it, build yourself up. Self love is so important, its take practice, but do it! It’s hard, I know, but you’ll feel much better about yourself when you no longer rely on anyone else’s opinion of you. Don’t base your beauty on societies standards or on anyone else’s beauty. Yours is yours and theirs is theirs. You are both beautiful.

I’ve struggled throughout my life with seeing myself as beautiful, but I am. No one can take that from me. No one else’s beauty can steal from my own, as I cannot steal from theirs. I was made the way that I am for a purpose. I have faults, I have strengths, and each one is what makes me, me.

I’m sure we can all agree that beauty isn’t all about the outward shell, it’s what’s inside that makes the outside that much more appealing. With that being said, if you can’t think of anything that you like about yourself on the outside, start with the inside. That’s what I did. I made a list in my head (we all know how much I love lists) about the personality traits that I liked about myself. Once I had that down, I moved outward, calling out one feature that I liked at a time. There are still things I do not like about myself, but I’ve made progress and will continue to do so.

A conversation I had last night made me write this post. Recently, any time I have a negative thought about myself or anything, I follow it up with something positive. No rebuttals, no additions. I end the negative thought on a positive note. For example, one day I may look into the mirror and think: “my hair is such a mess”. My positive thought would be something like: “but my eyes are pretty”.  It’s been helping me to be much happier and I use this for a variety of reasons. I smile more than I used to, laugh more than I used to, and I’m getting back to the woman that’s silly, sassy, and loves living life. That is who I am, who I’ve always been, but that person that I know hasn’t been around all that much. I’m happy to say she’s making a comeback.

Anyway, this is a long post so I’ll wrap it up. The message here is to realize that you are beautiful, to embrace it, to believe it, and not to ever let anyone make you feel any different. I’ve included a selfie with the hopes that others would take selfies too, showcasing their own beauty, and share it here. If you share one (and I hope you do) please tag it with reinventingbeauty so that I can celebrate your beauty with you.

Stay rad.

S.

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On Life

On Life

I’ve been thinking about life in general lately. How each day can be repetitious, sometimes tedious, and exhausting at times. It’s easy to let these feelings drag you down, but you don’t have to let them.

We have more control over own lives than most of us realize. I’ve struggled with depression all of my life. It got so bad that I tried to end it. Thankfully, I lived. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have had my son, wouldn’t love the people I love, and wouldn’t have found the excitement in creating things again.

Life is so hard sometimes, but it’s a gift. Bad things happen every day, some days it will feel like the world is dropping down on your head. When those days come think of the good things that happened during the day. Think of the people you love and who love you. Think of all the reasons you are blessed.

Before I go to sleep at night I think of all the things that made me smile that day. It helps calm my mind when it starts to race. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but it’s still a good thing to practice. Shoot, do it during the day if you start feeling blue.

Celebrate every day as if it’s your last. You never know when it will end, so be grateful. Show and tell the people that you love, that you love them. Thank God for another day of breathing, even if it’s a heavy day, and your lungs are sore. There are so many wonderful things in store for you, be excited for them. Live life as a child does, in the moment, inspired and in awe of everything around you. That’s how I am trying to live mine. Some days I fail, but I’ll get there, and so will you.

Be kind and stay rad.

S.

I Could Have Run Faster

I Could Have Run Faster

He stands against the railing. His back facing the wrong way. He holds on but his grasp is a poor attempt at clinging.Tears are running down his face, I hear him choke on air between sobs. I can feel his pain in my bones.

“Sarah, help me.”

I run as fast as I can, but my legs are weak. I call to him, telling him to hold on. He shakes his head and let’s go. Dropping out of sight, rushing to oblivion. His pain will end, but the pain he leaves will thrive.

I hurry to the railing, peer over, he turns midair and smiles. My legs give out. I fall on the wrong side of death.

I Dream

I Dream

Lying on the bed. The street lights spill in around the blackout curtains. Their glow soft, barely visible. I shift, trying to find comfort.

I feel my chest rise and fall, hear the sound of the ceiling fan above. Everything is still. The quiet wraps its legs around my own. My legs go numb, soon it pulls at my arms, caresses my cheeks. Its touch cold and relentless.

My pulse quickens. Unable to scream I watch shadows play on the wall beside me. I wish for morning. I pray for you.

I lift my arm and can’t remember a time it ever felt so heavy. I reach out and find an empty space on the other side of the bed.

I cry myself awake.

Rumination

Rumination

[thoughts circle.

he said, he said. eyes shifted to the left, I saw. stored it away for moments like these.

think of your father saying:

I don’t love you.

remember the cliff. hanging, your mother pleading, crying. and he laughed at that. your mother raped. he said it was her fault. he would blame you for your rape too, you know?

don’t think of the emptiness. what was. the missing. images. what if?
it’s so quiet. so quiet. remember the shouting. these walls could have been painted with your blood. he had it in him. you saw it, remember? it was his eyes. eyes don’t lie, but if they try, they tell at the same time.
hush. stop. hush, now.
but there are names like
“thunder thighs” ringing in my ears.
ringing. a constant ringing.

“whore. whore. whore. you’ll get what you deserve.”

please, stop. God, please, turn it off.

“it didn’t mean anything.”
“I miss you, some days it’s really bad.”
“you’ll never be a successful writer.”
“you’re my everything.”
“you are nothing without me. you can’t survive on your own.“
“you meant nothing.”
“you’re afraid.”

doubt. belief. doubt. belief.
the cycle incomplete. back to the beginning.]

Stop.

I take what is left in my hands, pour it into the cracks. these things, all in the past, can be mended by letting them go.

The Box

The Box

I’m in a wooden box, about as tall as a coffin but wider. Cheap wood, probably pine, it would splinter easily. A single light hangs from the center of the boxes ceiling. It swings rhytmically back and forth.

Outside of the box I hear my father shouting. He is angry again, but it’s been a long time since that anger was directed at me.

There are other sounds outside of the box. I hear myself crying. I hear myself screaming: NO! I hear other cries too, but they are not mine.

My heart hurts and my head spins.

If I broke through the light may cut through the darkness. I don’t know if its bright enough to dismiss it, but I want to soothe those crying.

Facing my father and myself fills me with dread. I make myself small in a corner, plug up my ears, but I can still hear everything.

My face is wet, I stand and approach one side of the box with fists raised.

I wake up.

The Standard of Failure

The Standard of Failure

Two large tables sit in front of the judge’s bench. I, the defendant, have a lawyer, and her face is my face. The prosecutor is not me, I do not recognize her, but she feels familiar.

A jury of my peers sit in the wooden box. One coughs into a yellowed handkerchief. Another scratches at her head non-stop, a nervous tick she picked up in childhood. How I know this, I’m not sure, but I do. There are two adulterers on the jury, one murderer, and the rest are liars.

All rise for a judge who’s face I cannot see. A blur for a face, black robes flow like liquid around it as it sits down.

The charges are read.

One count of not being beautiful by societies standards. One count of insufficient worth. A lifetime of fraud. The judge asks how I plead. My lawyer instructs me to plead not guilty.

“Not guilty, your Honor.”

The trial begins, irrefutable evidence is presented, multiple witness for the prosecution are called. They give their testimony, I shrink in my chair with each account. My lawyer shakes her head, drops it into her hands, rifles through paperwork. She calls several to the witness stand, but the prosecution rips them apart. Several of my witnesses break down in tears. The judge dismisses them, they do not meet my eyes as they leave the courtroom.

I know I’ve lost. I know it’s pointless to hope, but it sits in my chest, ravenous, trying to rip itself out, to show its glory. A final testament against what I have been accused of.

The jury is sent out to deliberate. I sit as calmly as I can, knowing the verdict on all counts will come back as guilty. I prepare to accept the punishment, whatever it may be.

They come back, sit down quietly in their seats, they face the judge. The judge asks everyone to stand as the verdict is read. The coughing juror reads:

“Guilty of all charges.”

There is no outrage from the courtroom, just a collective sigh followed by silence.

I fall into my seat, unable to stand, my legs are too weak. The jurors sit, my lawyer has disappeared, the prosecutor sits. The prosecutor wears a smirk, her face is made of wax, it begins to melt. Drops of it land on the table as her smirk grows wider. Behind the mask is another face I do not recognize, but shock runs through me. I know this face, I know this person, but I can’t remember how. My mind races for the answer but is interrupted by the judge declaring my punishment.

“Let me start out by saying that it is such a shame that we sit here today. You held such great promise, such potential, but you couldn’t fit the mold. The mold is there for a reason, but you just couldn’t do it. You say you are all of these great things on the inside, but look at you. Not one part of you is beautiful, and you’ve lied about it all this time.”

The judge takes a deep breath, grabs a glass of water, and takes a long drink. It is then that the judge’s face comes into focus. Dark hair, hazel eyes, a round face with full lips. I am the judge.

“The penalty for such heinous crimes is death. You will be escorted out of the building, where a firing squad is waiting. They will fire upon you until you are dead. May God have mercy on your soul.”

I’m lead out in handcuffs, two guards have to hold me up as I walk. I’m given the option to be blindfolded, I decline. I am placed in front of a wall riddled with bullet holes. I turn around to a group of men all armed with guns of various types.

I, the judge, ask myself if there is anything I would like to say. I shake my head no. The firing squad aims, fires, I feel no pain.