Listen While Reading: Taking Pictures of You // The Kooks.
You’re not a lot of things.
You might not be a scientist like your father or artistic like your mother. You might not be quite as tall as your sister or as slim as the model in the magazines. You don’t have your life figured out quite yet and you fear that you’ll never amount to much because your mind is pulling you in a million different directions all at once.
And there will be days when you find yourself staring into the mirror hanging on your door for hours at a time but, contrary to popular belief, it won’t be for vanity. Instead of seeing all the positive aspects of yourself, like your mother’s eyes or the freckles you acquired from years in the sun, you’ll pull and probe and poke your skin in an attempt to see yourself the way all your friends do, the way the world does. And the majority of the time, you won’t see past the flaws your mind has made for itself, but you’ll try to.
You’ll try your best to understand. Try to comprehend why people compliment how your hair when it looks like dead grass. You’ll wonder how on earth your boyfriend could stare into your eyes for longer than a minute because to you, they’re nothing special. They’re just as murky as the mud you step in when it’s raining. And you’ll glance at the freckles adorning your face and won’t give it a second thought when you cover them with foundation. Because unlike your sister, you don’t think you look good with them. They’re too dark, there’s too many of them.
You’ll pull your skin back like a face-lift to try to see how prominent you can make your cheekbones, just to see what it feels like to have the angular face that the magazines advertise. But your cheeks can never house cheekbones like that because your right jaw as always been a bit bigger than your left and you’ve only ever had one dimple on your face. You have your father’s face shape, your mother’s nose, and eyes, and your grandmother’s lips but to you, they just don’t mesh on your face regardless of how many compliments you receive about your features.
But you’re heart is still beating. Your chest is still rising and falling like the ocean tides to keep you alive. You have legs that could climb mountains and eyes that can see the beauty in everything but yourself. But those same eyes can see colours that even modern technology can’t. And the mouth you consider to be too small for your face can say the most brilliant things without even trying. Because you’ve never realized the extent of your abilities; even when they’ve been staring you in the face as you gaze into the mirror.
You might not be a lot of things, but you have the entire world at your fingertips and a chance to make your life worthwhile in the most extraordinary ways. No one actually looks like the magazine ads or speaks like a John Green novel in real life. Vance Joy won’t serenade your road trips while you stare out the window nor will your life look like a sundrenched Polaroid all the time. But that doesn’t make you any less amazing. Because you are capable of things that technology can’t do and can experience everything the world has to offer by simply going beyond your comfort zone.
You are able to breathe in the scent of spring and relish in the comfort of the fall. No one is perfect and the people in the magazines don’t look like that every day. Nothing is as picturesque as Instagram makes it seem. Everyone has their own demons but you don’t need to let them win. You are so much more than a clump of cells walking this earth. You touch lives around you by merely existing.
So yeah, you might not be a lot of things, but you are so much more than you give yourself credit for.
Words by Sarah Sutherland // Photography by Grecia Villa.
© 2016 Reef Magazine