I see you.
I see you walking through the halls with your books pressed up against your chest so uneasy and unsettled. I see you sitting uncomfortably in class extremely intelligent and driven, but bearing the feelings of belittlement and inferiority because of the jokes about your nose and bumps inconveniently distributed on the surface of your big cheeks and forehead. I see you writing in your journal and doodling in your workbook. I see you angry and protective, but unsettled by the things people have said about you. I see the pieces of you you selflessly gave in exchange for unexpected disappointment. I see you looking at the things you don't have, right now, you cannot see everything you're made of is more than anything you've set your eyes on. I see you underneath your hoodies you use in efforts to make yourself less visible. I see your frustration. I see your resentment.
Hidden Girl, I've seen you, and I see that you cannot see the perfection behind the imperfections that are constantly shoved into your face. I see how some people treat you. I see you waiting for the bell to ring so you can go home. I see you wanting to fly. I see you crippled by the absent and often overlooked. I see you unsure.
I know how you feel, but there are things I see that you may not right now: I see someone special. I see someone who is gifted...destined. I see a girl who would leave a hole in the world had she not existed. I see someone who will overcome. I see you with a heart that can mend and bear to carry an entire universe.. I see you. I. see. you. You cannot hide from me, and I don't want you to. So even if it's just me who sees you, I want you to know you are not alone. I want you to be tough and courageous, loud and remorseless. I want you to be brave. I want you to fight. I want you to keep going. I want you to hold onto to yourself for yourself. I want you to believe. I want you to be. I want you to love yourself. I want you to show up for yourself even if no one else will. I want you to know I am here for you...still fighting, still believing. I will always see you.
You will flourish.
Cover photo by Nicole Mason