I will never be my mother’s gorgeous hair. Bouncy and black as coal. A mane of glory. Hers is the crown of beauty. A tale of all that hair should be. But I am patience to love my own lesser crown. For in it I found freedom to be different and to love the difference.
I will never be my best friend’s discipline. She puts the world to shame with her straight and narrow moral compass and her unwavering sense of right and wrong. In her shadow I learnt to live with my mistakes as I find my compass too.
I will never be my sister’s passion and desire for perfection. I will not reach out to put the frames on the wall in a straight line. I will not seek endlessly till I find the perfect shade of peach, but in my laxity I found freedom to accept the choices I make. The joy in being imperfect.
I’m not going to try and be my brother’s charisma. I do love corners at parties and my phone never buzzes. I will not pretend that the party stops when I leave and my humour doesn’t get lost in translation. Instead I will revel in my little redemptions and boast in my affections for the people that have chosen me.
I will never be my pastor’s morality and godliness. His faith in the Lord and reverence for the ancient words that I admire so much will never be mine. I will never draw a line so fine between right and wrong as clear as he has drawn his. Instead I will try. I will fail and try again. For in repeated failure I will find my victory.
I am not my neighbor’s affluence and elegance. With her Hermes purse and luxurious grace. With her vacations in Greece and purified water. She sits up straight and waters her plants. She smells of lavender and floats through one day to another. I do not float through days. They leave their marks on me and I take them for lessons. I forget and get bruised again. I have a dream that scares to panic each time I close my eyes.
All the things I am not. All the things I want to be and all that I think I can be. What I am is free. To live, to make mistakes over again until I learn from them. To laugh so loud until my throat is sore. To tell stories until everyone sleeps off. To dance all night till my feet hurt and my head throbs from the music I played so loud. To live each day in my own shadow.