I’m finally getting glasses


I was a little girl who wished to be so much more than she was.

I was a sparkling firecracker of a child who counted down the days until her next birthday, eager to hold up a new number of fingers on her small, clumsy hands. 

I avidly admired every teenage character in the books I rabidly devoured and idolized the teenagers I encountered in real life. I based my forming personality on these integral ideas of who I wanted to be when I grew up. 

Who I was was never enough for me. I always wanted more—wanted to become more. I envisioned a future where I would become someone I was proud of—someone who met all the requirements I had scribbled onto my mental checklist. 

Every birthday. Every puff of breath that extinguished the candles. Every scrap of wrapping paper littered the floor around me. It maintained its wonder for a brief period of time before I was once again clinging to a hopeful horizon. 

That little girl isn’t gone. She lingers inside me, peeking out in moments of childlike joy and curiosity. She’s there when I can barely contain my brimming excitement during the days leading up to my birthday. 

And my personality echoes hers as I look into the mirror, unsatisfied with the person I see both inward and outward. 

I’ve never been entirely content; I don’t know how to be content. I am chronically unsatisfied with every step I take towards becoming more of the person I want to be. It hinders my ability to see how far I’ve come. 

It’s effortless to pick apart my own insecurities and failings and highlight them in myself. And when I stop and survey the person I am, all I can see are those violently neon highlighter marks painted over myself. 

They mask the person I really am. They mask every strength, every gift, every talent. They mask this picture of myself that would cause overflowing joy in the little girl I used to be. 

She wanted nothing more to become so many of the things I am today. 

She wanted to belong—to be someone who people could depend on while similarly having people to depend on. 

She wanted to feel pretty. She wanted to wear makeup, and dye her hair, and wear her favorite outfits. 

She wanted to be like the girls she read about and the girls she watched movies about. 

And as a uniquely peculiar child, she desperately wanted glasses. 

I’m receiving my glasses in a week. 

They’ll help me see things in front of me, but I’m the only one who can help me see the things behind me. I’m the only one who can remind myself that, unwittingly, I have become so many of the things I have always wanted to be. 

If I could go back and tell that little girl that someday she would become everything she dreamed of, I can’t imagine the kind of ecstatic reaction I would witness; she was even more full of zest for life than I am now. 

Of course, she wouldn’t know the heartache, the pain, and the failure intertwined with her fulfilled dreams. I don’t know if she would’ve been willing to sacrifice her comfort for her growth. She was never very strong; I don’t know if she ever expected to be.

I was always so scared of pain. I still am. But I’ve overcome more than that little girl could’ve fathomed. I’m stronger than she ever imagined.  

And I’m willing to sacrifice my comfort for my growth—even if I say that rather hesitantly. 

When the pressing weight of purely existing becomes too much for my still-small shoulders to handle, I remind myself of that little girl. Everything I do is for her in some way. I know she would be immensely proud of me. 

I hope someday, another version of myself can look back at who I am now and think the same thing.