Silk Blouse, Denim Skirt, Necklace: Thrifted.
Floral Mary Janes: Forever21.
I haven't always been proud of who I am. There's been many points in my life where I would look at myself in the mirror, staring intently at myself. I wasn't looking at my face. I wasn't looking at my body. I wasn't looking at my hair or clothing either. I was looking at my soul.
At points in my life I had trouble accepting the way I act, think, talk, and live my life. From a very young age I felt as though I was different than most. I had this peculiar problem with connecting with people. I would talk to them and play just like all of the other kids, but I was always left feeling empty. More so than empty though, I always felt this feeling of...betrayal. Like I had betrayed myself because I acted how other people wanted me to act, and I didn't act how I knew I should. I didn't act the way I knew in my heart that was me.
Over the years, acceptance of who I am has been the largest struggle I've come across. I think that as a young preteen I was always looking for a role model or someone to emulate. Someone like me. Through trial and error I feel like it helped me discover myself. Obviously trying to crack jokes every moment didn't work out for me. Acting like a tough girl wasn't my strong suit. Trying to fit in with the naturally smart and well gifted wasn't quite my right placement either...
Eventually, I did find Lauren. I found the quiet, quirky, awkward, loving, sensitive, sentimental, and old-fashion Lauren. The funny thing though was that she was there inside me all along and I was too blind to see it. Through all the fake smiles and the forced conversations, she was there. Through all of the coming home crying and feeling alone she was there. Through all of the trying to be anyone but myself, Lauren was always there.
Moral of the story? Simply always be yourself. Don't try and be her, or him, or me, or anyone. Just be yourself. It's the best imitation you can do.
"To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting." -E.E. Cummings.
With much love, Lauren