She’s made of something not meant for this world


Kennedy Mikel

A photo from when I’m pretty sure I was genuinely happy, but it can be so hard to tell

She once wrote that she was one with everything she touched. 

It was a time when she felt like the world was hers and she was the world’s. She filled her time with sunsets, 2008 Cadillac escapades, school spirit, and metaphors to capture the thrill of something just beginning. 

She knows she views the past through a rose-tinted lens, that September can’t possibly have been perfect, but it feels imperceptibly close.

Now, she never catches the six p.m. sunsets, she’s relearning the road in her mom’s old Chevy Equinox, and her school spirit is tainted by the fear of walking at graduation in a cap and gown she still hasn’t ordered. 

She is only comforted by the hours she’s spent in the car this past week, driving ridiculous distances for a few minutes that color her whole day orange like the wings of a butterfly, that something just beginning morphed into something that’s lasting. 

Lately, she’s felt distant from everything she touches, a star set apart from the constellation, made of something not meant for this world. 

She lacks the harsh edges the world expects from her, cotton-candy melted lines where she’s supposed to be rigid and dependable, poked full of holes so the feelings can seep through, taking what is not hers, giving something no one wants in return. 

But she is harsh in all the other ways—all the wrong ways—too loud, too bright, too colorful, too much. She gets too attached—to people and ideas—needs to learn to take no for an answer, needs to be more aware of her surroundings, her impact, needs to take up less space so there’s more room for others.

She picks at the hair on her scalp, her eyebrows and eyelashes, and sometimes doesn’t recognize her own face in the mirror, in old photos from her camera roll. She used to feel an unmatchable comfort behind the wheel of her car, and now she hesitates too often, ruminates on the infinite permutations of loss, aches to return to the confidence that once filled her when her foot met the gas pedal.

She’s too much in some spots, not enough in others, simply wrong for the space she’s meant to occupy. And maybe she can find happiness, but she will still never be right; she has always been missing something that everyone else seems to have.

…but she’s tired of trying to make the world work for her…

She is beginning to feel more and more that in those moments when she felt that she was one with the world, she was only playing a part, pretending to have what everyone else had so that they wouldn’t see that she was hurting—merely a willing participant in an elaborate lie.

But reality can’t remain at bay for long. Sweet honey becomes a bee sting that will leave a scar, and she’s left wondering what’s real in her life, what she’s truly doing right, and when that will leave her, what she will replace it with. 

She worries she’s destined to spend her life jumping from fleeting happiness to fleeting happiness, connecting for brief moments at a time only to fall back into her own solitary orbit, a star without a constellation. 

She’s made of something not meant for this world, and it’s an excuse—the excuse no one wants from her, the excuse that splays its fingers across the red of her faltering, little heart, equal parts soothing and suffocating—but she’s tired of trying to make the world work for her, striving for a goal whose inevitable unattainability will only crush her a little bit more.

Right now, she feels okay in dreams, feels okay when she’s planned her day around the color orange, feels okay when she’s Sharpie-ing a half-formed thought onto her arm, feels okay when her words have formed something worth reading on the page, feels okay when she thinks about February.

She isn’t made for this world, but she’s here anyway, and she’s decided she has something to say, a letter to the world that goes a little something like this:

To the world that I have brokenly inhabited for seventeen years,

I feel that I am made of something else, something that clashes with the very earth beneath my feet. But I have taken what I can, in my wrongness picked a handful of flowers. 

I feel a little less wrong when I have these flowers, and for all the ways in which you’ve crafted my shape that was only meant to break, I think you owe me this, to let me hold onto these flowers, let me tuck them behind my ears and give them homes in vases on my windowsill.

Someday, maybe you’ll tell me why you made me like this, too much here and not enough there. Someday, maybe you’ll show me that I am the perfect shape for something I can’t understand now. But until someday, let me keep my flowers.