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the impossible girl

If you look carefully at my wrists, parts of my feet, and my hands, you’ll see small scars. Most of these are shaped like half moons. They’ve faded with time, which makes sense: I’ve had them 32 years now. I was born a little over three months early. There were a thousand reasons I should’ve died, and a thousand reasons since. I could’ve had about a billion potential problems. I weighed about what you get when you order cold cuts at the deli: 2 pounds, 1 ounce. Like all babies, I dropped weight at first, going down to 1 ½ pounds.

From the stories I was told, I was stubborn from the beginning of my life. I arrived screaming, with more hair than most normal babies. I liked to lay on my stomach with my head turned to the right. The nurses would move my head to the other side, or even turn me over, and I’d still manage to rearrange myself to my liking. They even went so far to pin parts of my clothing down (they were concerned I’d squish my face – my bones were still soft)…and, being entirely willful, I was still found on my stomach, head turned to the right.

I was Tinker Bell that Halloween, only a short time since my birthday. I would be Tinker Bell for the next few Halloweens, actually. This began my love of sparkles, magic, and all things thought to be impossible.

Because, honestly, I was impossible.

I certainly had my own sense of timing, and even as a kid, there were a million times in which I got really sick. But thanks to a combination of science and a genetic history of stubborn so fierce you’d think there was a mule somewhere in my family tree, I turned out alright. But being born so early, that was the beginning of a habit: I only ever fight when absolutely necessary. I hate discord. I hate trouble. I hate upsetting anybody. I like balance and love, glittery things and piping hot coffee.

But I know how to thrown down when I have to. Even when it turns my world inside out, upside down, and tosses my sanity straight into a rabbit hole. I never choose anything without considering every option (Libra!), so if I am fighting for something…it’s with my eyes wide open and my heart pretty much the same. You can’t fight without your heart, loves. And you can’t lock up that little monster, either. People try, but eventually, it (much like a wailing, screaming baby) will find its way out into the world. The secret to knowing what to fight for is this: find where your heart is, and make your stand right there. It’s that easy and that hard, but no matter what, it’s always worth it.

This morning, I woke up thinking about a conversation I’d had with my mother, before she died. You see, I had an occasional habit of sticking my head in the sand like an ostrich and ignoring things. And she made me promise her that I would fight for the important things, that no matter what, I’d stand up for the things and the people I believed in. “If something happens, you fight.” That’s her exact wording, and anyone who knew her can probably hear her fierce emphasis on that last word. She was many things, and a fighter was always one of them.

We all start wars in our own way. The truth is that once I do, I don’t really know how to stop. Something is worthy, end of story. It doesn’t matter what scars I collect along the way (and god knows, I have them – even if I don’t talk about them). It doesn’t matter the risks or the difficulties. Because I’ve already seen all the possibilities and decided what’s worth it. And there’s that old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

I’ve got an impossibly strong will.

Whenever I wonder if I have it in me to fight anymore, or if I’m just too bloody tired, I realize that’s not my particular problem. To paraphrase Stephen King, I’ve got the soul of a poet, and the emotional makeup of a junkyard dog. I don’t know how to quit. I’m very pretty, but I’ve got teeth. And heaven forbid you ever threaten someone I care about. That, I should point out, extends to the moments of self-harm – when you’re lying to yourself and running away from your own shadow, sticking your head in the sand, and mistaking routine for happiness. Because NO.

This life is more than the day-to-day. It’s more than staying inside the lines. It’s more than sticking to the way things are “supposed” to be, only doing what you “should” do. Life’s messy, if you’re doing it right. It’s downright crazy and doing pirouettes on the train tracks. But I figure, I could’ve died a thousand times in my 32 years, what looks insane isn’t going to stop me from really living – it isn’t going to keep me from the things that matter.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want to challenge you. Find where your heart is and go there. It doesn’t matter if it makes no sense. Go there and fight for what’s worth fighting for. Because this is a time for miracles, darlings.

Trust me: I’m the impossible girl.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 15, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Ali I love this! Love.

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