she asks me to pose for her portraits,
and i jump out of my seat to accept.
her question makes me feel like i can help.

she tells me the shots looks amazing
and i smile and laugh,
as i lean against the stairwell
and allow myself to be captured.
but when she shows me the photos on her camera
the amazement that glimmers in her eyes
fails to enter mine.

i throw my energy into my art.
into the magic of the things i have taught myself to create.
worlds of words and music,
of feelings i can’t share and thoughts that swirl through my brain,
endless.
but there is always a feeling that lingers,
that tells me my creations are never enough.

i choose to give myself to others
to make up for all of the ways that i have put myself first,
longing for my worth to be realized,
and the things i do to mean something.

will i ever be able to see
my beauty,
my talent,
my strength,
without the validation of others?

i glance at my reflection
and the eyes that are not quite mine stare back.
my vision fills with this distorted version of i am
an unworthy reflection of the shimmering person i am inside.

i turn away and remember, that there is more to me
than the person the world sees,
and that the person i am becoming will always be enough.

peace,
the woodland wallflower

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