Today, with my cheetah print scarf tied primly around my neck, I was told by many that I looked like a flight attendant.
I wish I could say that the compliment surprised me, but I've honestly heard it before, many a time.
I've also been told that I sometimes look like a model, how my mannerisms are that of a mom, how my voice is made for commentating, that I have a princess-like disposition, but could also be an evil witch, and in the same breath, I'm compared to Wonder Woman.
So many identities, so many possible versions of me.
So which of them am I?
For a long time, I've molded my identity by the things I am not.
Not in a relationship, not as successful as some of my friends, not having a "big girl job", not popular on social media, not someone guys lust after, and I've forgotten all of the things that I am.
See, society tricks us into thinking that we're not enough. The media plays on our self-esteem and targets messages and adverts towards the things we don't have and the things that we aren't.
Aren't sexy, aren't fit, aren't desirable, aren't successful, and as a result, are not happy.
They manipulate the masses into thinking that we'll never be fully satisfied, whole, and satiated without dieting and exercising, without this trendy new outfit, without a high number of followers on Instagram that's acceptable to have, and without this tips and tricks to snag the guy of your dreams.
These people work day and night to exploit our vulnerabilities whilst getting fat on our craving for a quick fix to help our self-esteem.
Every day, I find myself jealous of the little things I don't have, whether that be physically, mentally, or spiritually. It's subtle, but it's there and I have this insatiable thirst that I can't quite fill. It leaves me wanting more, but more of what?
What I'm realizing is that my identify, my person, and my being, isn't factored by all that I'm not. It's characterized by all that I am.
The books I read, the music I listen to, the clothes I wear, the things that make me laugh, that make me cry, that make me feel, the experiences I've had and have shaped me into the woman I'm meant to be, these are all the marvelous bits about me that make me... me.
Life for me begins when I decide to stop living the way I'm told to live. Our lives are our own and when we're constantly comparing and searching for the unattainable, we'll continually let ourselves down in the search for satisfaction and validity.
We've got that power within us already and we don't need outside help.
In response to today's comment about looking like a flight attendant, I say thank you. Because that's the brilliant thing about being human: you can be all of these little things. I can look like a flight attendant, act like Wonder Woman, smile like a princess, and walk like Cardi.
We are a myriad of intricate, soft, powerful, and eclectic qualities that make each and every one of us unique in our own way.
Society doesn't dictate our own beauty and worth, we do. And if we believed we were beautiful enough already without the titles and manufactured expectations, the industry would fall.
With that, I'll welcome you aboard the flight.
Flight to where?
Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride, but I promise you it will be worth it in the end.