Why my happiness may matter to you (part 2)

Familial lore says that I came into this life exactly like I’ve lived it. Fast. Impatient. Loud.

My mom drove herself to the hospital. My dad met her there. Almost born in the car, almost born in the elevator; born exactly when and where I was ultimately supposed to be.

“Selfish,” say some. “Spontaneous within parameters,” say I.

Why should you care? As a child, I was woefully un-beautiful. Every photo depicts a gangly creature with masses of unkempt curls, coke-bottle glasses, head thrown back and mouth wide open – in laughter or defiance, you decide.

It’s not that my parents didn’t try to tame it. They’d been blessed with a first beautiful child. A girl of straight hair, perfect eyes, and balanced limbs. Then came Sarah.

The name means ‘Princess.’ What did they expect?

Growing up behind a homecoming queen, a prom aficionado, a cheerleader, is both a blessing and a curse. I could imitate, or I could rebel. The latter better suited my temperament. And to be honest: I couldn’t properly compete. So instead of pretty, I became smart. Instead of popular, I became odd. Instead of honest, I became deceitful. One foot in, and one foot out.

A beautiful sister bequeaths beautiful friends. A sprint out of junior high forces a crawl into high school. God, will it ever end? Will I ever belong anywhere? And then: self-indulgence becomes self-respect. College converts to first-life. Practice flowers into purpose and happiness.

Why should it matter to you? Because one day, the girl looks up from the flat-iron. One day she looks saucily up with the imbalanced eyes and thinks, “Hmph. When did this become beautiful?”

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