May 2, 2016
I used to shy away from attention. I would keep my head down, avoid eye contact so I wouldn’t get noticed. I walked around like a ghost, somehow making my large, fat body melt into the background.
I could hide behind any pillar, disappear behind any wall, and though my ample hips would protrude, they were invisible… I, was invisible.
You have such a pretty face, she said to me… She was my thin, beautiful, popular cousin’s thin, beautiful, popular friend.
The words stung like hot blades cauterizing the wound as they cut, numbing me with the smell of my own burning flesh… Flesh. Pounds of it boiling over, seething, bubbling and molten under my clothes.
I went crazy for a while. I watched them be attractive, be desired, be lovable. I wondered what it would feel like to be lovable too. I thought surely, there must be no better feeling than that of being wanted.
I opened myself to any attention people payed me. I searched for it wherever I could. Just flaunt what you’ve got, they said, so I flaunted my fear of being alone.
They came running, saliva dripping down their necks, drawn by the intoxicating aroma of a woman who believes she is worthless. I let them abuse me, use my fears to control me. I let them break what was left of the girl with the pretty face and send me to my knees in a cloud of dust and broken dreams.
But I was lucky… As I peered into the rubble that was left after I crumbled, the sun shone and I saw a glint of light, dusty, cracked, but twinkling.
I pulled away the debris, brushed off the dirt, frantically rummaging for those shimmering bits of myself that I might still be able to salvage, and the flecks of smoked light began to transform.
Before my eyes, the shards came together to form spectacular patchwork panes, stained by my memories, my shattered hopes, and the beauty in my reflection that I had never been able to see.
I watched myself become whole again, or arguably, for the first time, bound together with lead, only toxic if I let it in; and the colours, they were glorious, refracting the sunlight, swallowing the darkness, all the while changing any light that passed through, making it fascinating and magnetic.
Coloured glass, the proof of my existence, brittle yet magnificent. Lead, the reminder of my past, reinforcing my fractured pieces and making me strong.
When I rose to my feet, I was not the girl with the pretty face. I was the girl with the pretty colours, all shades of light bouncing off one another, emanating from the core of the body I once thought unworthy of shining.
My design, intricate. My pattern, complicated, but mesmerizing, and my colours, true and indelible.