I used to get caught up in sadness for all the things that weren’t, whether or not I truly wanted them. Sports I could have tried playing as a kid, a Bat Mitzvah like my Jewish childhood friend, sleep-away summer camp, a lead role in a play, feeling like a princess at a father-daughter dance, going to the prom with a boyfriend that loved me, being a princess in an elaborate wedding.
I never liked sports. I was not Jewish. I was afraid to be away from my parents. I got stage fright. My father didn’t dance. I never had a high school sweetheart and never wanted to go to a dance. And when Alex and I finally marry it will be a piece of paper we each sign, with something silly and personal to commemorate the moment.
These things all just felt like things that I /should/ want, that I /should/ be. Things that I should desire because of my femaleness or because of my age. These were things that everyone around me seemed to want from their lives.
Alex doesn’t open doors for me, instead I mockingly open doors for him. We tackle each other and wrestle and I try to win (and sometimes do). I squish around in the mud outside barefoot in the summer planting seeds. I have an aloe plant growing on the windowsill that soothes all the bites, burns, boo-boos and rashes that happen in this house that we all share. Alex doesn’t buy me vases of cut flowers, he buys me seeds to plant and grow. I birth babies from my body without the desire for medication, and I nurse them at my breast. I am a reader of books, a doodler of little animals and aliens and flowers and butterflies.
Not because I have ever felt that these are things that I should want or that I should do. But because these are the the little seeds of my heart that grow as they may.
I’m no princess.
I am me.
And although sometimes I think I might like to experience some of those things that others do.. There’s a freedom in understanding that this is MY life. These are the things that grow well in this life of mine. This is comfort, this is joy.
This is not a script written by someone else, for someone else, that could be filled by anyone. This is me.
And you are you. With your life unfolding in front of you. Maybe you will be a princess. Maybe you’ll splash through mud. Maybe you’ll do both. Maybe you’ll be a motocross racer and a rock star, or a quiet librarian. Maybe you’ll have a green thumb. Maybe you’ll love animals more than plants. Maybe you’ll gravitate to technology. Maybe you’ll be a magician, a scientist, a landscaper, a sanitation worker, a police officer.
Do not try to be someone other than who you are. Do not try to be odd for the sake of oddness, or the same for the sake of similarity. Do not try to be the thing that I want, or that your grandmother or cousin or father wants. Try to be the things that YOU want to be. Try new things, and see which ones make your heart happy. And when people try to discourage you, keep in mind that they are thinking of their own limitations and not yours.
Let the seeds of your heart grow as they may, and find joy in discovering exactly who you are.