Not once in my childhood did I ever daydream of running away and joining the circus.
But when I reached the shoreline, felt the burning heat of summer, the sticky sand and salt clinging to my skin, I started to long for a haphazard kind of life.
Because I realized I still don’t know how to stand steady in front of eyes and a mouth that don’t speak the same thing.
Sometimes in the mirror, I realize those eyes and that mouth belong to me.
Tattered denim and golden hour covering our shoulders, someone recently told me that my face often betrays me first. It always has.
No one sets out to be a liar. Little girls don’t daydream of becoming personified apologies.
Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. This becomes the constant word of someone who makes plans and breaks them. Because good intentions don’t make for worthy plans or promises. And poetic sentiments are sometimes better left on the movie screen. But if and when you put all your best words on the table, that doesn’t mean you have to sit with them forever. Sometimes you leave them there. End scene. Cue credits. Go home.
I wish I’d learned this sooner.
Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. It’s time to sit in the word that you must finally say to yourself. Apologize to the one person you have not. For the fact that you did not believe you are beautiful. That you pulled and tamed your curls. That you covered your face. That you bit your tongue. That you hid your tears. That you let the mark of a red pen define you. That you do all of these things still.
It’s time to say “I’m sorry” to the one person you haven’t forgiven. For never getting it quite right. You. For being too much, too little—or some combination that jammed the lock. That kept you from the places your biggest dreams planned you would go.
If you want, you can finally make better plans, worthy promises. You can walk away from the table of good intentions, poetic sentiment, the plans that turned you into a personified apology. Plans change and you didn’t always know who you were and who you would become when you made them.
I’m sorry to the girl who is still trying to show up for old plans and the promises she had to break. The circus probably won’t take you and running away has yet to save you. You’re the most beautiful you’ve ever been and it’s okay to hold the brokenness in your hands and not try to fix it. I’m sorry that you’ve apologized around the world, but never where it started. That your good intentions and broken plans were all because your mouth betrayed your eyes. Your head betrayed your heart. You did not believe that you were the right combination and that you could go where that little girl dreamed of.
You’re the most beautiful you’ve ever been and it’s okay to hold the brokenness in your hands and not try to fix it.