Young Adult Old Soul magic realism writing Agata Wierzbicka
Art by: Agata Wierzbicka

I may be mistaken, but I think that the next part of my journey will be to set myself up for pain.

Because the pain carves the way for something deeper. It makes you fall apart at 2 a.m., strips away your layers, leaves you naked and shivering. And it is in this state, where everything else has been taken from you that you find yourself. The parts of you that you hid away so well you forgot about them. The tenderness, the undiluted emotion. The raw material that logic has not been applied to, that insecurities have not yet marred. Your emotions before they are dissolved in decency and the learned behaviour of: “I shouldn’t think that.”. Something true. So true that you had to hide it from the world for fear of it being plundered.

At this point, when the world is looking for your weakness, you join in the search and say: “I’ll help.”

Because you cannot have a fragile heart in a world this tough. You do not need a heart that flinches at the mere mention of pain. So you go against every learned reflex, every survival instinct and coping mechanism that has helped you throughout the years. You rise from the fetal position, square your shoulders, lift your gaze and look Life right in the eye. And when every last cell in your body is getting ready to fight, you surrender.

Aching and tender. Vulnerable.

“Do what you want,” You say “and I’ll do my best to survive.”

Because the aim in Life is not to remain unhurt. It is not to live and age on the same patch of earth, unchanged. Life is a metamorphosis. Just think, we are clay after all, how disappointing would it be if we never moulded ourselves into anything? And it is under pressure, as we are spun around that we gain shape. Otherwise, we are just a potential something. Otherwise, we are only could-be’s and maybes that will never live to see the world truly, as much as we are able.


3 a.m. Battles

You are beautiful in all your brokenness.

In all those less than graceful moments when you bawl your eyes out, when the snot drips down your nose and the sound coming out of your mouth is that of a wounded animal. You are beautiful for fighting, for giving up so many times and yet always trying again. You are beautiful for all those battles that end at 2 or 3 a.m, that leave you beyond the point of exhaustion, your body heaving and curled into itself, and tears soaking your pillow as though it were the blood from battle spilling all over your armour.

You are beautiful, beautiful for your strength.

But even weakened, even as you stray into the craters of darkness, there is still that glimmer, this faint trace of beauty like a scent you wore the day before which lingers on your skin still.

They are all so beautiful, those who fight demons only they can see.

Maybe Ugly Doesn’t Exist

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“You are beautiful because others are ugly.” is never something you hear people say. It’s a rule that does not apply — but somehow the opposite does?

Somehow, you can be ugly because others are beautiful. Because ‘others’ look and are a certain way and you don’t and— and that’s enough to make you ugly. What kind of Beauty is the Beauty you see and feel if it is this easy to discard someone as ugly? Beauty is not unattainable, it flows freely in everyone. Just look at the stars, how easy it is for them to be beautiful, for you to think they are beautiful. You just lift your head up and the black sky is alight with millions of these little twinkling things. And there is no question in your mind from the moment your eyes lift to that milky way that what you are seeing, what you are feeling is…beautiful.

Is Beauty really such a fragile concept that it cannot handle for more than one kind of Beauty without falling apart?

No. Beauty is strong, resilient exactly because it is so diverse. It only ever breaks down when you pervert it, when you try so subjugate it to meaningless rules and standards.

Beauty is wild, all-encompassing. And everything in all its dear imperfection is beautiful.

You are not ugly because others are beautiful— you could never be even if you tried. All on your own, you are beautiful. And that is not going to change, regardless of how others may be.