Dear Pretty Perfect Woman

Dear Pretty Perfect Woman,

You are everywhere.

I see you every day, at work, in meetings, networking events or on a stage.

I see you at the store, the gym, at parties with my friends.

You are beautiful. Your skin is light, olive, dark, black, tan, and every color in between.  You are short, tall, thick or thin.

You are my age. You are younger. You are older.

You walk tall with grace, or you burst into a room with energy and limbs spraying.  You stand in a corner observing it all or listen intently to a friend.

You are calm, composed and measured with your words. You are wild, free and funny.  You stand in silence and with a quiet presence of your own.

You’re well educated or elite, down to earth, an introvert, an extrovert.   You are athletic, strong and fast. You are comfortable in your own skin loving every curve you possess.

You are brave, bold and unapologetic.

Your hair is short, long, curly or straight. It’s every color of the rainbow and some in between.  It’s shiny deep brown or black, not a strand out of place.  You with the dark hair, I envy you so…because “dark-haired girls are the most beautiful”, or at least that’s what I’ve been told.

Do you see me? 

Do you really see me?

Do you see how I look at you?

You scare me with all things about you that seem better than things about me.

Do you see how desperately I want to talk to you, to ask you questions, to stand in your light and learn more about you?

Do you see how my shoulders drop when we meet, or how I stammer over my words as I try to make small talk? Do you see my eyes shift away because I’m uncomfortable and I think you are too?

Do you see that I need you to be less perfect? 

You see,  I’ve tried so hard to be like you. . .

I’ve dyed my hair and painted my nails.

I’ve bought fancy shoes and clothes.

I’ve worked out at the gym, over and over again.

I’ve stood tall and straight when I enter the room.

I’ve asked just the right questions. . . told the funniest joke.

I’ve been the light that fills the room.

I’ve done my best to use big words

I’ve studied and learned from you.

I’ve done so well that I’ve become like you, except not quite.

I became like you . . . but only in someone else’s eyes.

While I was watching you and trying to become something I’m not, I forgot that maybe someone was watching me.

I didn’t see her, looking at me, probably wishing she had my hair.

I didn’t her that I struggle. . .  a lot.

I didn’t tell her how amazing I think she is, with her wild eye expressions and cheezy grins.

I didn’t tell her about the mistakes I’ve made and the situations that have kept me up at night.

I didn’t tell her that I fail sometimes and cry alone in my room.

I didn’t tell her, in my effort to be a pretty perfect woman, that there is no such thing.  

Now I will.

Dear Pretty Perfect Woman, I’m going to do better, and I hope you will too.  I’ll look out from myself to see those around me and remember the women who need me to be ME.  Not a filtered, altered, scripted version of me.  I’ll share my mistakes, my flaws, my bumps, and bruises. I’ll share my struggle with perfectionism and how I’ve failed to be perfect, over and over again.

Most importantly, I’ll share exactly what I just wrote to you. . . that  I’ve watched others in awe, and hoped they’d share their struggles too.  

 

 

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