Whenever I hold someone’s hand, I always squeeze it three times because my dad taught me that it means “I love you.”
He’d always encase my tiny, painted hand in his and squeeze it gently thrice. I never asked him about it until I grew a little taller, but I’ve done it ever since. I have become infatuated with this idea of telling people what they mean to me with the smallest motion.
I always cover my mouth when I’m chewing because my best friend from middle school used to do the same, and it’s become a nasty habit.
I can’t seem to stop regardless of the teasing I get from those closest to me now, it seems as though it’ll forever be a part of me. It makes me oddly calm to do it.
I paint when I’m feeling down because my therapist approves of it.
She told me it was a healthy coping mechanism, and now whenever I’m sad, I paint over whatever surface is next to me, whether it’s an empty box or my hands. I dress my skin in pink daisies and vines when staring at my math textbook becomes too stressful.
I knit while watching tv because the woman who taught me how to said that’s when she makes time for it.
We went to a coffee shop, and she taught me how to thread the needles through the yarn until I made my first red and orange scarf.
I know the lyrics to every old Taylor Swift song because my childhood best friend made me memorize them for car rides longer than ten minutes.
I still can get most of them right when I’m on my way to school or on my way home from work.
I wear gold jewelry now because some stranger on the street said it complemented my skin tone.
I now adorn my neck and ears with dainty gold jewelry even years later because her words have stuck with me. She has brightened my life since then.
In middle school I wore North Face fleeces everyday because they were my older cousin’s, and I wanted to grow up to be like her.
I still strive to be like her. I admire her confidence and her ability to stand up in this world that tells you to sit.
And I’m forever grateful for the people that make up myself.