Her name is Tiara. Her mother chose that name in hopes that she would always know and feel like a Princess. Ironically, she has spent much of her time on Earth feeling like a mere peasant stuck inside of a strange life. When she comes close to mirrors, she scurries past them as if she may see Bloody Mary reaching back from the other side. Her reflection has become that of an Urban Legend in her life. She struggles to face it. She cries when there is no room to move in the bathroom, thus forcing her to confront herself, even in brief instances. And it is ALWAYS a brief instance. She takes reflective ‘selfies’ for Instagram purposes and sometimes applies her lipstick under the hot lights that hang over the mirrored medicine cabinet. But hardly ever does she find herself standing there awing at herself. She’s become accustomed to not smiling at what she sees; not embracing her freckles, flaws or dimples. The irony is there is a part of her that really believes she at least has decent levels of self-esteem. She doesn’t take many pictures, but when she does, she gives her greatest Emmy Award winning performance. When she is in the public, she smells like a valley of flowers and walks with her head up, but internally, she is wasting away into ashes one inhale at a time. In private, she feels no one would dare drop a rose petal before her feet unless it was already withered. Her name is the closest she feels to having any type of crown.
She lets the ‘hims’ of the world use her private bouquet as their practice breeding ground. Different beings come to her, and on her, and leave traces of the hearts they have broken and the vows they have mistaken all over her mattress; that explains why the couch has become her queen bed. She wants to be desired by them and they just want to four letter word her. Her comfort zone has become the middle ravine between her legs and as great as it feels in the moment, when the band is doing playing she always goes home to dance alone. Temporary touches from part-time strangers are the later bruises that initially feel like love. But she’s no fool. She knows she will never find affection or peace from the gift of her lost virginity but the men seem to flock to that area. They treat it tenderly for anywhere between 5 -45 minutes. It makes her briefly feel adored when all she is really getting is adorned with after-whispers and defaming judgment. Each mirror she passes on her to the shower yells for her attention, but she’d rather drown her subconscious down the same drain as the energy she just collected. She struggles to DO better. After all, just because her name is Tiara doesn’t mean she has the slightest inkling on how to be a Princess. Royalty didn’t auto-instill itself just because of her name. Answers are few and far between but Tiara knows her truth. She doesn’t listen to herself on purpose. She fears the exquisite pain of standing in front of that image that reflects back from the other side of her world. She lives a mirage and calls it her life.
She is an unraveled poem of possibilities unrealized. She will never realize her true potential, her full worth or her greatest and most valuable assets until she ends her mirror protest. Someone sat a crown near her nightstand, but it was knocked over during a freaky escapade and she hasn’t seen it since. She has to face herself first before the world around her stops defacing her. Her name is Tiara and she never knew she was a princess; therefore becoming a queen is not easy to do. This was her story.
To the rest of the world, you might think you are just some chick. You smile instantly like a pushed on-call button, but for those of us with keen insight, your pain is still visible behind the quiver of those lips that often struggle to turn upwards. Perhaps it is the remnants of those left inside of you that are pulling at your smile strings. Maybe it’s the way he looks at you before his fists pummel purple and black nearest your eyes. That visual stays in your head long after the bruises have healed doesn’t it? Could it even be the distance from your peers? Or the lack of understanding from those you love most? Let me guess, you often feel misunderstood. You sometimes feel and behave just like Tiara don’t you?
Many of us never make it past ignoring our reflections. Some are buried with those insecurities behind battered, fatal bullet wounds. Others receive positive tests for negative news. We Covergirl our pain & throw on Jackie Onassis sunglasses in hopes that no one will see all the years behind our pupils. We continue living each day as a façade-parade of pretending to be happy, acting like we love who we are and hoping that someone will believe in our acting skills so much that we start to believe it ourselves. But I am here to tell you that NO ONE can make you love YOURSELF but you. The only way to truly heal from ones past and sometimes present, is to face the facts and embrace your truth. So what that no one taught you how to be a princess; today is perfect timing to listen to the trumpets create the queen-call when you walk. All the artists in the world can tell you how beautiful you are. Every singer, poet, painter or dancer this side of the Mississippi River can stand in front of you and make you feel like the only woman in the room. But none of us can heal you. Heck no one can heal US. Life truly is a solo-effort. We are born individually, fall in love as individuals, we view the world from our individual eyes and we have to embrace fixing our own problems as individuals. Outside love won’t fix it. Sex won’t fix it. Pretending exacerbates it. But continuing as things are, on shaky grounds that is, not only won’t fix the problem but can be deadly.
Stop the reflective suicide and stare at yourself. Stop pretending you are a corpse, aimlessly strolling through Earth just doing stuff cause you have nothing else to do. Let go of the mentality that gives you room to believe that part time love or half time sex or outward disrespect of you is reasonable. It isn’t. Not for a queen. They say calling women Queens and men Kings is cliché. I say, what better name to call them???? So with that being said,
Dearest Queen in the land of Tiaras,
Live like tomorrow isn’t promised but the future is a strong possibility. Start with the mirror.
The first chance you get after reading this, I dare you to stare endlessly at your reflection. I challenge you to stop passing it by and to stand in front of it with the lights on. Its ok to cry, but don’t look away. Take in your ugly and turn it beautiful. Laugh at your quirky cheeks or point at your thick glasses but not in a negative way. Make the duck lips if need be! SEE YOURSELF, in all your glory and flaws. Make the declaration that today is the day you actively start the journey towards LOVING you, embracing your pain so that you may heal from it and most of all, no longer hiding from the mirror. Beautiful you, know that you are NOT an urban legend. See yourself with your crown ON. Don’t be afraid of your life, as we all have memories we could do without and regrets we can’t change. Tiara’s story is not a unique story. Unfortunately, it is a life lived out daily by many women who have been branded as the ‘whore’, the ‘slut’, the ‘dumb chick who lets a man beat her’, the ‘weak one, the ‘ugly girl’, ‘fat girl’, the ‘too skinny girl’, the ‘girl that thinks she’s the ****’, etc, etc……. But today can be the day you decide for yourself that no one else gets to walk on you, use up your body, beat on you, mistreat you or hurt you continuously. You are indeed a queen and let no one tell you otherwise. You are not a cliché. And you can’t let your internal hurt kill the rest of your beautiful life. Today, decide to stop fumbling around your missing tiara and start wearing your crown. It starts today. It starts with the mirror. It begins with you. Ready.
About Januarie York:
Januarie York is from Indianapolis, In and has been writing since she was a young girl. She started performing her poetry in 2003 and hasn’t looked back. Her colorful and descriptive poetry have allowed her to share the stage with some of her mentors and favorites, as well as create her own shows. She has released two spoken word CDs, one chapbook, produced two spoken word shows and is currently writing her first full length book. In addition to poetry, she has done freelance work for several local magazines and websites and is now the City Editor of Insight2Incite Magazine Indy. She also is a contributing writer for several blogs. januarie is well on her way to becoming a premiere and sought out writer of her time and has her performance eyes set on debuting a theatrical poetry show on Broadway, in the footsteps for For Colored Girls. Now is the time to tune in to this self-proclaimed “WomanOfTheArts” is.