There once was a girl full of life and wonder, who had the wildest of imaginations and grew up to have many adventures. She took risks and was quite daring. She ended up having an ordinary yet wonderful childhood.
The first wave of change hit her when she was 12 and she got her period for the very first time. By then she knew what exactly it was, and what bodily changes were about to follow in the coming years.
She ended up waiting for a very long time. In fact, she still is.
For as she grew older, she noticed the girls around her gaining curves and developing breasts, yet there she was stick-thin and flat-chested. It didn’t bother her much. ‘My time will come’, she would think to herself. And she was in no big hurry to grow up.
She ignored the nagging doubts in her head for a long time, until one day at age 14, her sister callously said, “You don’t have to cover up, it’s not like you have anything to hide.”
The girl knew her sister didn’t mean to say it in a hurtful way, but the comment scathed her nonetheless.
Fast forward to when she turned 16. It was the winter holidays and she went to visit her childhood friends in another country. She was very excited, for she had missed them so very much. The day was going great; lots of old memories reminisced, many new stories shared, until one of her her friends said “Did you even go through puberty?” And she was so startled that the only response she could come up with was an awkward laugh.
The girl knew her friend didn’t mean to say it in a hurtful way, but the comment scathed her nonetheless.
Then came a day when she was 18 and was sorting out laundry with her aunt. Everything seemed to be going uneventfully, until her aunt pointed at a bra and said “That’s your sister’s, right? You don’t wear bras do you? It doesn’t look like you need them.” To which she only awkwardly replied with “No I don’t.”
The girl knew her aunt didn’t mean to say it in a hurtful way, but the comment scathed her nonetheless.
There once was a girl with a sensitive heart, who felt very insecure about her body. She hid her anxieties behind her constant smiles and laughter. And she was very careful with her words. Because she knew how powerful words could be, and how much they could hurt you.
There once was a girl who seemed ordinary, yet she had something secretive about her. She had learned to observe those around her and could detect even a hint of unease. She would notice every uncertain flicker of the eyes, every carefully concealed frown, every poorly hidden quiver in the voice. She would take note of everything and store the information in a corner of her mind, not because she wanted to hurt anyone, but because she just wanted to help.
There once was a girl who began to hate her body, and didn’t know why she was not like everyone else. Her body made her feel less feminine and she was always afraid of the comments she would hear. She was afraid to call herself a woman, for fear of someone once again mentioning her flat chest and making fun of her. Every time someone even glanced at her, she would get paranoid and think they were judging her and her body.
There once was a girl who thought, “Enough is enough” and picked herself up from the floor. She promised herself she would hide no longer, and with that, set out through the door.
She always felt helpless when it came to herself, so she vowed to try her hardest to help others, at the very least. She sought out all kinds of people, some of them being people who felt unsure of themselves, who were trying so hard to fit in and who were always afraid of the world.
She vowed to make sure they had someone who cared, who could see them for who they were and loved every bit of them.
She promised herself that she would always listen first and speak second, for she felt it was important that people knew that they were heard and acknowledged. She took all the shortcomings she found in people throughout her life and tried to learn from them and use them to make herself a better person.
There once was a girl who had big dreams to save the world and be a hero. She decided to wear her insecurities like an armor so that they could no longer hurt her. That doesn’t mean she was indestructible, not at all. Sometimes people would manage to cut through the armor and hurt her, and she would stumble and fall. But she would always get back up again, if not for herself, then for all the people who were counting on her.
She finally found a purpose in her life. And it made her feel worth something.
Artwork by agnes-cecile