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Your lifestyle, your quirk
Tye and I recently went on a miniature vacation in Louisville, Kentucky. We were up there for the Forecastle Music Festival and had a wonderful day Sunday, plus a few sweet little stops on Monday. The music began on Friday, but we only purchased one-day tickets for Sunday, so by the end of the weekend, some of the best shows were scheduled and there was a lot of cool stuff going on.
One of the things about Forecastle is that it’s outdoors. I love outdoor concerts; they’re a special summer activity I can’t help but adore. So we’re all outside in this huge waterfront park listening to good music, making friends, and generally having a superb time.
Tye and I went to the show to see Wilco, my favorite indie rock/folk band, who were scheduled to play about nine o’clock or so. All day we anticipated that show, but as it turns out, I had an even more memorable experience in the most casual of ways.
As the two of us made our way around the park, we saw some pretty curious people. Some had painted faces, strange haircuts, outfits, or personalities, but everyone were wonderfully nice. There was quite a large crowd, which offered a wide variety of diverse people, but this one girl stuck out to me. I first saw her at a house band’s show on a stage on one side of the park. She had strawberry blonde hair and was not skinny. She wasn’t large or unattractive (we’ll talk about that in a moment), but she wasn’t stick-thin either. The girl was fairly tall, and had a fair complexion. She was sporting a bralette and a flowy, plum-colored skirt. Her outfit was extremely cute, but it revealed a lot of her arms and shoulders. And they were covered in burn scars. Almost her entire shoulder, most of her arms, and some of her face had large, bright pink scars covering them. At first, I felt really sorry for her; she’d obviously been through a very painful experience at some point, right?
The day wore on and the girl slipped from my mind. Tye and I went to other stages, and once we got separated when he went to buy us popsicles. When Wilco came on stage, I was so excited, I literally screeched! Then I looked over and saw the burned girl again, dancing to the music. And suddenly, it hit me. In the late afternoon, I took a moment and wasn’t listening to Wilco at all. I was staring at that girl, and I didn’t even know why. There was something so beautiful and captivating about her, and I just couldn’t put my finger on it. She wasn’t wearing much makeup, she wasn’t the skinniest girl I’d ever seen, and yet I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I turned back to the music eventually.
Once again, after the show, I forgot about the girl. I didn’t think another bit about her until the next night, when something came to me so suddenly it felt like a slap in the face. I realized what had been so captivating about that girl.
It was what she had on. That girl had been wearing a tiny top with a skirt. She didn’t look trashy – she looked cute – but what it said meant so much to me I’ve wanted to write about it since then. You see, this girl had scars all over her. But she was wearing a revealing outfit. She wasn’t asking for pity. She didn’t mind it if others stared. She didn’t care if people didn’t think she was attractive or looked at the marks on her skin. She probably just wanted to stay cool in the heat. Here I was, unable to wear the similar top I’d bought because I was too self-conscious! And this girl with the scars was daring to wear something a super model might.
It took me fully a day and a half to realize the beauty of that. Of that confidence and acceptance. She had those scars, there was no denying that. But she wasn’t settling for being shy, self-conscious, or nervous. That girl had nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. It was honestly the single most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in a human. The moment I realized why she’d been so gorgeous, I understood a lot more about humanity than I ever had.
We have beautiful bodies. They were made to be admired, to take pride in. No scar, no mark, no imperfection can ever change that. It is your own mind that changes that fact. Our insecurities stand in the way of so many things in life when they shouldn’t! I do not know the girl’s name, and I will most likely never see her again, but I will never, ever forget her, and I hope she realizes how truly beautiful she is.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, and remember how beautiful and inspiring confidence can be.