By Emma Stokes, TIWP Student
She tries. She does. I promise she does. Maybe she tries too hard. Maybe she compares herself to the portraits of those beautiful women in France. She compares her brain to those of the great scientists, writers, and observers of history. She could live up to those expectations. One day she will. One day she will be the best of the best and yet when she looks in the mirror she cannot see it and when she hears someone speaking over her she does not feel it. She’ll never stop trying. She can’t. What will happen if she does? What will she be worth if she’s not everything and more than they want her to be? To her friends, she is perfect. To her parents, she might be perfect but they don’t tell her so she’ll never know. Everyone in the universe could tell her she’s perfect and still, she would not rest. She would not believe them. One day she’ll quit. That same day she’ll die. It’s not good enough. Never has been. There will always be people who say she’s not enough. She loves those people. They confirmed everything she thought and felt about herself. She can’t stop and she doesn’t want to. The problem when you’ll never be good enough is that there’s no place to stop. No bed to rest on. No stop sign. It’s a hole of darkness and self-hatred that she’ll never escape. She’ll do anything for the praise she thinks she doesn’t deserve. But she’ll do more for the people telling her to stop. Telling her to rest. She can’t escape this vastly complicated maze she calls her brain. Soon she’ll break down. Soon the walls of the maze will collapse. For now, however, she will rely on the pieces of off-brand duct tape holding her together.