Thursday, February 21, 2013

Less to do with pain, more to do with beauty

When I was a kid, I didn't fit in. I know, as you read this, you're thinking neither did I or so what, who did? None of us did. Even the kings and queens, I'm sure, had their moments when they felt like they didn't belong and really, we don't know what goes on behind closed doors, what happens in homes or behind someone's eyes.

When I was a kid I was teased for being weird. For reading too much. Or for not reading the right stuff. Or for not reading enough. For being fat. For being too quiet. Or too loud. For having green eyes, because that meant I was a witch. I remember, one year at summer camp, I spent as much time as I could in the library, because there I would be left alone. This was after the morning we all lined up and saw the flag at half-mast. When we were told Elvis Presley had died and I asked who he was, my fate was sealed. I was the weird one, the one who knew Vivaldi but not Elvis, the one who didn't fit in.

I was also one of the lucky ones. I had enough resilience and enough resources that I made it out. I was feral enough that no one picked a fight with me more than once. I told people my green eyes meant I had the evil eye, so they wouldn't mess with me. I had an imagination that gave me friends and allies no one else could see. I was fortunate enough to see beauty even when around me was litter and anger and unmeetable expectations. I was tough enough that what happened at school or at home, at camp or any where else made me all the more determined to fuck them all and get out alive.

I was lucky. Even if to this day I still flinch at Elvis, still stand up a little too much for the under dog, still cringe when I hear a certain tone in a teenage girl's voice, still brace myself when someone comments on the color of my eyes.

Today I saw this stunning animation of the poem, To This Day by Shane Koyczan, reminding me that I was not the only one who didn't fit in. Reminding me that there are so many of us who are strong and scarred. That my flinches are nothing to be ashamed of. That the stories we tell have an impact we might never dream of, helping someone when they most need it. That I am still here. That I am one of the lucky ones.

And you are, too. I'm glad we're here together.

To This Day from To This Day on Vimeo.

(c)2013 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

No comments:

Post a Comment

True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at
Related Posts with Thumbnails