Dear beautiful, broken girl-
I’ve seen you. I see the way you stand just a little apart from those kids you’re with, the way you obsessively check your reflection for flaws in store windows, the way you slump your shoulders forward to hide the body you wish you didn’t have. I see you in the center of the crowd, working your fans as the life of this party, slipping away with some no one to sacrifice yourself yet again in the name of “why the hell not?” or “I just want to feel wanted” or “it doesn’t matter anyway.” I see you following him around while he makes fun of you to his friends because you think you can’t do better. I’ve seen you curse your image in fitting room mirrors. I’ve seen you cover your mouth with your hand to cover a laugh that, to the casual observer, is so perfectly beautiful. I’ve seen you.
I’ve seen you, and I know. I know the part of you that can’t stop comparing yourself to everyone and anything, the part that squirms and quits in the face of imperfection, the part that is bravely trying to quiet the little voice in your head that is constantly insisting that you don’t really deserve to be valued. I know the part of you that feels like you’ve broken everything and nothing you can do will ever atone. I know the part of you that envies her, that girl who everyone thinks is so pretty, or so smart, or so perfect. I know there are parts of you you don’t let us see.
I know there is someone who will tell you a story about what you’re not, a tale about how you will never be a “smart girl,” or attractive, or successful. I know something someone said once will stick with you, will resonate in all your weakest moments and affirm the part of you that doesn’t believe you are worthy. I know someone will celebrate, exaggerate, and prey on your failures. I know that part of you will believe them, and be ashamed.
I know you have a secret you haven’t told anyone. I know you think if you tell it, you’ll be rejected. I know you are afraid of being discovered.
I want to tell you another story.
You are a masterpiece. Your fingers, your freckles, your sense of humor, your crooked teeth, your quirks, your best ideas, your biggest flaws, your darkest secrets – they’re artwork. You were knit together by expert hands, painted into being by a love so big no insult or failure can possibly break it. You are fearfully, wonderfully, intentionally you – what you can contribute cannot be measured, because you have never been before, and you will never be again. No one can limit the necessity of your being – you are part of a symphony, of an epic, of a perfect pattern, a phenomenal plan. You are small and insignificant, but you are so immeasurably valuable, and nothing and no one can diminish that value. You do not depreciate because of your choices. You are loved, wildly loved, just as you are and in every minute.
I’ve seen you, broken, beautiful girl. I’ve been you. I often am you.
You were intended. You are wanted.
You can’t be all things to all people, you can’t do it alone. You’ll never have to.