More often than not, i’m in tune with the gentle, empathetic, understanding, and open-minded side of myself.

These qualities tend to come out in my clothes, too: Comfy with slightly oversized silhouettes that swallow me up in coziness. Dainty A-line skirts that exude graceful femininity. Deep, muted colors that are comforting and friendly but tend to make me just blend into the background.

Though i enjoy being creative with my outfits, i don’t like being center stage, and it shows.
But there’s an edgier side of me that doesn’t often see the light of day.
The side of me that longs for independence, self-sufficiency, adventure, and justice.
The side that can at times be cynical in pursuit of strength.
The side of me that was obsessed with my red superhero cape in preschool; that begged my mom for karate lessons at age 6, but didn’t get them; that grew up zealously rewatching Spider-Man, the Matrix, and X-Men; that competed with the boys in matters of strength and speed on the playground, and greatly preferred these times over girly, elementary-school gossip.
The side of me that strangely (while my mom constantly warned me and my sister to be careful playing outside) dreamed of being kidnapped, because (at 8-years-old) i genuinely believed it would be an amazing opportunity to outsmart the bad guys, kick ass, and get the adventure and self-confidence i longed for.
The side of me that shoved a friend off the swing in my childhood backyard, fuming with anger, because he made fun of my sister.
It’s not exactly a “pure” side of me, and it’s certainly different from the gentler aspects of myself. But it’s still me–A part of me i’ve suppressed rather than grown and refined.

Deep down, i want this side of me to be able to come out. To be able to feel strong, sure, independent and able to stand up for myself and others.

At 23, i still haven’t been able to truly exercise my independence. I’ve always had a sense of shelter. I’m grateful for those times, but i long to grow.

I long to let these different aspects of myself intertwine into something more beautiful. Strong, but graceful; Seeking both justice and mercy in the very same heartbeat, without contradiction.

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