I’m sitting in my kitchen mulling over a severed connection, bits of conversation rising then drifting away from the forefront of my mind. Words I’ve spoken, texted, heard and read moving along the slipstream… I’m orchestrating them into a score of meaning: voices, expressions, emotions, delays and responses. I’m trying to see if the words have already been written. But so far, all I’ve got is three sentences from a young adult sci-fi that E is reading:
I am not pretty.
I am not beautiful.
I am as radiant as the sun.
This declaration is made by a teenage girl, but I want to send it off to my sisters in their early 30’s.
To my sister falling in that kind of love that long lasting partnerships are made from.
To the other sister who finished studying and juggling and can now indulge in her love life.
To my other sister who finally had the type of deeply satisfying sexual encounter she’s been wanting to have her whole life.
To my other sister who is finding she loves herself enough to set new boundaries.
To myself, who isn’t as patient in love as she used to be.
You are not pretty. You are not beautiful. You are fucking radiant.
That radiance is the difference between being the girls we’ve been told we should be and loving the grown ass women we actually are.
Pretty and beautiful have been co-opted and corrupted, defunct as useful descriptors aside from trite labels of acquiescence. Do pretty girls have law degrees? Do beautiful girls talk filthy in bed? I don’t know. I do know women that are radiant with experience and knowledge and self acceptance. I do know women who have walked across coals to be where they are right now and may your deity of choice help you if you second guess their decisions.