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From Our Readers: "Yes, I Am the Ugly Girl"

It's time you show them the real you.
PHOTO Star Cinema ART Clare Magno

It sucks to be that girl.

That girl you didn't even know exists. That girl you just ignore every day. That girl who seems to look okay when she's breaking deep inside. That girl who prefers plain white tees and a pair of worn out jeans. That girl you call ugly.

That girl is me.

It sucks to live in a world where judging others is called telling the truth, where bullying is considered cool, where you feel like you don't have the right to be happy because you might come off as a #HumbleBrag, where your mistakes define who you are, where freedom of speech gives us a reason to hurt someone else, where people take you for granted because they think you're gullible instead of thinking that you have a good heart, where cheating is considered as cooperation, where you can't say no to a friend because that will make them think you're fake, where lying is more important than telling someone the truth to avoid hurting their feelings, where people always think that they're right. It sucks to live in this world. It sucks to live in my world.

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It sucks to live in a world where judging others is called telling the truth.

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Welcome to my world. A world that's full of lies, secrets, and hatred. A world where if you're ugly and weak, you aren't worth it. But if you're pretty and cool by their standards, people will praise you. I know some of you will tell me that it's alright, that someday I will live in a beautiful world, that I am just hiding in the dark, that I should try new things, that I should learn to love what I have.

But how can I love something that breaks me inside? How can I love something that is constantly destroying my life? How can I love something that reminds me that maybe it's better if I didn't exist?

It's not easy to be that girl. I hate it when some people pretend to be me, when people do it to earn likes on Facebook or retweets on Twitter. I hate it when some people pretend to be sad, when in fact they're not. It's not easy to be strong, when deep inside you're fragile. It sucks even more when people take credit for something that is not even their idea. I just hate the fact that these people are pretending they know everything but in fact they're naive.  I don't wanna be that girl anymore. I just want to be who I really am.  

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People will judge you for not being yourself, but they will also judge you for being who you really are. 

To all the girls, who have experienced what I've experienced. This is the right time to stand up for yourself. Be who you are and embrace all your flaws. People are just jealous of you because they know you can do things that they can't. This time show them that they can't play safe anymore, show them that what they're doing is not right, and show them that that girl is not the ugly and weak girl they saw yesterday. That girl is now a brave and young woman who is finally breaking the walls of her sad world to reach a world where she matters.

Because she does.

Are you going through depression or anything you think you can't handle? There's a safe space for you to talk about what you're going through. Call 804-HOPE (4673).

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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted?

I have forgotten when was the last time we shared a smile - the last time when I saw the glow in your eyes and the last time when you whispered an I love you to me. I have forgotten when, but here I am - writing to you again.

I do not know if you will read this or you will just add this one to my proses and poems that you left unread, but you see, I am still hoping. I am mailing the pain of us to the gods out there - hoping they can take the pain away. I should have gotten over you, but instead of forgetting and accepting our ending, I am writing about us in tissue sheets, carving about us on trees, telling about us on the back of my journals, hoping that a thousand or a million write ups about us, can make me forget about what happened.

I am writing, waiting for the point where I can no longer write anymore, for I have none to tell - but when? I have nothing in me anymore, but the memories of us - and no matter how hard I try put those to its own grave, the memories grow back like lilies in the swamp - painful and beautiful at the same time.

No matter how hard I try to silence those and put it at the back of my mind, those ring back, playing like the favorite song we used to listen. They say heartbreaks turn into poetry and that is what happening to us - but poetry should be dulcet and dreamy, why does ours sound like pain and agony? They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted? Darling, I guess not.

Anne Luna A day ago
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