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I am strange. Flawed. Imperfect.

If one saw how I worked, maneuvered, how I lived through life, they would question my ability to function.

I’m messy, disorganized. Tired, overwhelmed by what could be at times a basic task for others. I am overloaded with the sensory the world outputs. Disgusted by some of its selfish ugliness. While overwhelmed by some of its angelic beauty. The care, the bonds some possess. The connections that exist.

I used to be ashamed of who I was. Of how unrelatable I seemed. Wondering if there was ever anyone out there who would get me. See me. Understand me or where I come from.

I saw judgement in the way others looked at me. I heard disappointment in their voices. I felt jumbled and questioned how I could view things so differently. Asking why I felt so separate.

Yet, here I was. Me. Stuck with the flaws. The imperfections. The cracks and fissures that seemed irreparable.

I went through life ignoring these flaws. Then hiding them. Brushing them under rugs, behind couches, deep into closets.

Hoping not to expose them and recognize the horror of what was behind your eyes looking back when you finally caught a glimpse.

Knowing I am odd. Different. Out of the norm.

A circle peg that has pretended to fit in a square hole. Although feeling the squeeze, the sharp corners jabbing into my sides, the awkwardness of forcing myself into an inorganic mold. I have stayed. Stuffed in a place that never fit.

Then, something happened over the pandemic. Over the solitude. In the seclusion.

I saw as I hid behind the comfort of my locked door, that only me and my flaws were present.

No one to see me. No one to let in.

I became safe in the solitude of my own home. Then I became curious. To examine these pieces of me I have always hid.

I somehow found the courage to look. Then trusted to expose them onto the page. To admit them to a writing community on zoom. Distant . Far away, while bearing my souls and all of its cracks.

I saw these people didn’t leave. They didn’t disconnect.

These genuine souls stayed, read or listened to the parts of me I never wanted to show.

I got to see that those flaws mattered. The voice I buried was really a seed that needed nourishing. That needed care. And sunlight. Behind closed doors, these imperfections needed air.

I gave them the safety to experience the light of day. In the light, I saw the flaws shine. I admitted their importance. I admitted they mattered. It was the judgements and disappointments that didn’t. Those were only the looks and voices that would never allow my seed to grow. Would never see when it finally bloomed.

But now it has.

Out of one of my deepest cracks, the flaws have sprouted, grown, have blossomed into the most original, delectable fruit. A flavor that I savor. A taste I can never again neglect. A juiciness, a feeling I could never again ignore. A beauty I could never unsee. A connection that I can never again unplug.

My flaws, those imperfections, are my beauty. Meant for only the right eyes to see. They are seedlings within me. The strengths that have withstood every power in me to cover them up. They have waited to show me they were not buried. Merely planted. They are what makes me… me. Something I will never again attempt to hide.

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