My #BeReal guest today is Jesi Scott.
What would your soul look like if it could be seen? Jesi has a lot to say and it’s all very deeply personal and thought provoking.
Thank you Jesi for writing for this series. For being so vulnerable.
This is me when I was about 13 or 14:
This is me now:
So is this:
What can you tell from those photos? Do ANY of them give an accurate depiction of who you THINK I am?
What do any of those tell you about how I grew up, or the kind of lifestyle I’ve lived or am living?
Does any of them let you know that my favorite food that I could eat all the time are hamburgers and fruits? Or that my favorite singer is Sting and I can recognize Josh Groban’s voice when he’s locked in a box (i.e., Muppets Most Wanted-I fangirled about that in public and scared little kids-I wasn’t alone, my eldest son did too)? Can you tell that my favorite ballet is The Nutcracker or that I ADORE The Phantom of the Opera or that Tron Legacy is probably my favorite soundtrack? What about movies or books?
What were the first thoughts that went through your head when you saw ANY of those pics?
I bet you fifty dollars that not once did you think those pics show a verbally and sometimes physically abused child who was mildly molested by her stepdad. Or that she grew up poor and that a year after that top pic happened we had no electricity for two years, no water/waste services for a week, and the only food real food we had was the free lunches from school and the bug-ridden, frostbitten food my step-grandmother and her daughters deigned to grace us with. Nor does it show how she began working at 16 to help her mom, who worked double shifts at her job, try to have that electricity turned back on and get caught up with all of the other bills. She was 17 by the time the electricity was turned back on. She learned early on how easily people can turn their backs on you, and the worth of real friends.
And those bottom pictures…I bet not once did the thought run through your mind that this is a woman who suffers from “mild” anxiety attacks when life gets overwhelming. They don’t show the crippling fist that crushes the breath out of her body whenever she’s under too much stress. They also don’t show the mild depression that hits sometimes. Or the suicidal thoughts she’s had. Or that her mother tried to kill herself when the daughter was 16 by driving her truck (before they had air bags) into a telephone pole at 60 miles an hour, a subject still vehemently denied by mom. They don’t show how she tends to shut down in an argument, or that she’s the first to apologize even when she doesn’t feel like she did anything wrong. They don’t show how she tends to accept the responsibility for other’s mistakes, or that she’s learning to fight back and hold her ground. They don’t show how helpless she currently feels or how weak or stressed.
No. I bet none of that can be told from those pictures. And yet, what judgements DID you make?
Doesn’t it make you wonder what you could tell if pictures were taken of her soul at those times? Would you still make judgements? I bet her soul would look very much different than her physical appearance. What would your’s look like?
What I hope you see is a woman who loves her family, a woman who can be spontaneous, a woman who some friends call “a bright soul” because she loves to laugh and make you laugh, especially when you are down. She’s a woman who will try to pick you up and stop your tears even while she’s mending her own ripped heart. She’s a woman who is scarred, but not destroyed, and chooses every day to see the beauty in the mirror instead of the horrible person she sometimes thinks she is. She’s a woman who sometimes fails…sometimes epic-ly. She writes poetry and dances in her room and sings. She is imperfectly perfect, and very content to be human. She works on her flaws every single day because she wants to be a better person, one her sons will be proud of and say she was their example. She loves her friends who are her family and hopes they all know how much they mean to her because she can’t often show them except in little ways, like knitting them hats or buying them bookmarks, or just sending a text message with a pic saying “You know that feeling you get whenever someone is thinking about you? Well, now you do.” (Yeah, Lizzi stole that from me because I sent it to her. FRIST!)
She is a woman who does not normally refer to herself this much in the third person.
But she is a woman who understands more than most what it means to #BeReal because she’s been trying to be herself for a very long time. And it isn’t easy. And she doesn’t think she’s amazing. She’s just being the person she hopes to truly become someday.
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
~Shakespeare-Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82
Please watch my video for the rest of my #BeReal submission and get an idea of the Real Me. And, pretty please with a cherry on top, go and read this article I posted:
P.S. Apologies…yes, the video cuts off abruptly. I am still learning how to edit things.
By Jesi Scott
“What do you see when you look at me”
I wrote that, once upon a time,
And here I am asking those words again
You underestimate me still;
And I continue to
Prove you wrong.
I’m no transformer who can save the world
But there’s more to me than meets the eye;
If you only judge a picture with one glance
Then you miss a chance
To get to know the true beauty I hold inside.
So see me in all my glory,
I can outshine the sun,
And I refuse to hide my dark side
Because the night is beautiful in its depths,
And you should remember the true purpose of light
Is not to eliminate the darkness but
Illuminate its truth,
and give hope where there might be none.
Jesi Scott is an aspiring writer of novels, a poet, and blogger. She has guest-blogged over at The Well-Tempered Bards, and has a post featured at For Love Of…. Jesi has two poems published in Memories of Mist, a literary anthology, and one published story in a newsletter. She is currently working on releasing her first poetry collection as well as writing her first novel. When not writing, Jesi can be found getting lost in bookstores, singing and dancing around the house, experiencing culture with friends, and generally having fun with her four sons when they aren’t driving her weeping into her closet, which she calls her Padded Cell. She loves to rescue stray bookmarks, as well as books, and has opened her heart to any and all stories needing a home. Archery is her current favorite thing ever but you might want to stand back a little as she still has a tendency to drop the bow occasionally.