The thing about shaking off the shadows and reaching for light is that it cannot be done in silence.
I had hoped I wouldn’t have to roar to announce that I had arrived, finally, through adversity and darkness, into the version of myself I was always meant to be. Naively, I had hoped that perhaps this transformation could pass unnoticed, like the water that quietly steals away under one of the city’s bridges — drowned out by all the other manifestations of life, melting into an indistinguishable symphony of sounds.
But to be yourself is to create ripples, echoes. And people listen, they pay attention.
The other day, I realised while watering a thriving Zenith the Zealous, that weeds had only started growing my little chia plant when I started caring for it. And I think it’s as simple as that: life attracts life. When you push through the darkness, discontent with the safety of mere existence and seek light, weeds will grow vicariously through you, envious.
So yes, I have attracted a whole lot of shallow attention.
People who call me pretty disbelievingly. Formerly indifferent men who now give long looks. Others who notice every little change as if it had been made on their own bodies.
I stepped into the light hoping to be seen, but instead, I am being viewed.
It’s disconcerting, to be sure. More than that, it makes me want to crawl back to where I came from. To safety. To comforting darkness. To being alone in my own little world, my lonely little planet of thoughts.
But these reactions are just passing distractions. My quest for light goes farther than them. There is more to me than what they see: I cannot be boxed into words like ‘pretty’, I offer no explanation as to why I am the way I am.
“I am not this hair,
I am not this skin,
I am the soul that lives within.”Rumi