by Kelsey Oke
In a world full of innocent fabrications and filters, it’s so easy to feel lost in the spurious sea of simulation. We lie about our age on dating apps, we embellish our experiences with music and overlays, and we forge feigned realities just hoping no one will dare to question or discredit whatever we’re posting.
Authenticity feels foreign and being veritable feels much too intimate. When did it become so extreme just to be genuine with each other (with ourselves)? If we are all human with human faults and human failings and human flaws, why is it so terrifying to identify those frailties? To acknowledge them and to accept them? Who are we trying to be without them? And why…
Flaw: a feature that mars the perfection of something; defect; fault: a crack, break, breach.
I do recognize and appreciate our society’s efforts to debunk the ‘perfect’ myth, or at least my algorithm’s. Somewhere along the line (unknowingly) I came to ‘surround’ myself with positive, accepting, realistic images and captions and accounts that are truly trying to redefine what it means to be the most supreme and immaculate versions of ourselves.
In the words of one of (at least a few of) our favs: “We deserve to let ourselves go. / Let us go on. / Let us go be, / To change, / Adapt, / Shape and reshape, / A million times over. / We deserve to let ourselves have our stories written on our skin. / And on our hearts. / Because it’s not a performance. / And it’s not perfect. / It’s life. / Living. / With bodies and minds and spirits so capable of carrying us through. / So when the cheers and praise and criticism fade into the background, / We simply go forward. / Knowing with every mark on our skin, every fold in our bodies, every bend and shape and scar we wear … / There we are.” - @thebirdspapaya
I am thankful for women like Sarah. I am thankful for the imperfections that have seen me through. I am thankful for these mangled knees and scarred up legs, because still, they carry me. I am thankful for this body that holds me healthy, and this mind that is kind to itself on the tougher days. I am thankful for all of the missteps, the stumbles (face plants) and wrong turns along the way that all helped me to arrive.
This month won’t be perfect (cue this delay!), but it will see me. I will show up when I can and forgive myself for being late. I will try my hardest. I will be thankful for all that I am and all that I have, and for all of the spaces in between.