I write for the girl with stick-straight brown hair that refuses to hold a curl, who despises being short and grinds her teeth every time someone points out that her little sister is taller than she is. I write for the girl with the distrustful brown eyes that have seen too many fights and too few smiles, who wishes her parents would get divorced so her father would be forced to spend more time with her and her mother wouldn’t spend all her time cooking and cleaning and settling for a half-lived life. I write for the girl who pretends to be interested in the things other 16-year old girls like, but secretly despises talking about nail polish and boys and shopping and just wants to go back to her book. I write for the girl who reads out loud to her horse because he’s the only one who doesn’t judge her or think it’s weird that she consumes books like most people breathe air.
I write for the girl who dreams of leaving her small town where everyone knows her because she looks just like her mother, who has never left the state but imagines traveling the world and writing about the adventures she has.
I write for the girl who can’t wait to get to college because perhaps there she can finally be herself and find others like her, people who love reading and books and want to spend all day talking about reading and books. I write for the girl who loves to write essays and thinks doing research is fun. I write for the girl who cries in her room, beating her fists against her pillow because she doubts anyone will ever love her for who she is. I write for the girl who finds comfort in stories, where animals don’t die and people do the right thing and it’s alright if you’re different because that probably means you’re destined to save the world.
I write for the girl who hates being different and wishes she could just fit it.
I write for the girl with her nose in a book and a story in her head, controlling the only thing she can by writing her own plays where she dictates the ending. I write for the girl who is confused and afraid but feels powerless to speak, except through the words she puts on paper and the cuts she puts on her skin. I write for the girl who has perfected the confident smile that hides how she’s always on the verge of tears. I write for the girl who wants to fight for something, anything, to champion a cause, to die for a belief, to argue and conquer and make a difference in the world. I write for the girl who met her role models in books, who aches to prove that she can be just as smart and brave and strong and fierce as they are. I write for the girl trapped in her bedroom, dreaming of escaping her family, her town, her life, and sometimes, herself.
I write for the girl who wonders if anyone will ever truly understand her.
I write for the girl I was then, the girl who is still part of me now.