The Harbinger Online

One Girl’s Voice: The Beauty of Vulnerability

A few months ago, I almost quit writing this blog. I felt torn down, like everyone I knew hated me for what I was writing. I felt like no one cared about what I was saying or even about me, in general. I actually wrote a farewell post that I never ended up publishing. Below are a few selections from it:

“I care. Every letter and syllable and word slaps me in the face and stabs my heart. Every insult or harsh word slung at me chips away at me until there’s nothing left. I’ve spent hours picking at every single word until I believed that they were true. I care too much.

I care because every time I see a picture of myself I want to vomit. A boy who’s too cute or a girl who looks more put together than I do can make me feel like garbage. Any side-glance I receive is just another person saying, “I hate you.” I hate me, too.

So I guess I’m done. I don’t think I can write this blog anymore. When I started it, I was so full of ideas, so ready to change people’s minds. I’ve changed nothing. If anything, I’ve brought even more hate upon myself, and I can’t take it anymore.

Yes, I’m a feminist, and a lot of people hate me for it. I won’t change my views but that doesn’t stop me from thinking I need to change myself. Maybe if I was smart or a better writer I would be championed. Instead, I sit here in my bed, fat and acne-ridden and thinking about things that could have been that just aren’t. I failed. I’m sorry.

To every feminist, every girl in the world, I’m sorry. I’m not perfect. I let my self-doubts and how I think others perceive me tear me down. I’m sorry I can’t write this for you anymore. I’ve failed you and I’ve failed myself. I just can’t do this to myself anymore. I can’t.

Thank you. I’m sorry.”

I think there’s a certain beauty in vulnerability. In the revealing of our shame, of our secrets, of everything we hate about ourselves and our pasts. I live in shame constantly. But through writing, through sharing my thoughts and my passion and my vulnerability, I’ve been able to discover a freedom I never thought I’d know.

In this blog, I’ve written about what I don’t dare to speak: my struggle with my self-esteem and body image, my fear about moving into the next step of my life, how I relate to my mom. I’ve written about feminist issues and what they mean to me, and to the world around me. I’ve written blogs a week in advance, and I’ve written them in the hours after they should’ve already been published.

One of the bravest things a person can do, I think, is to show the world who they really are. And with this blog, I think I might have done that. I don’t regret writing it. There are several sentences I wish I could re-write, a few blogs I wish I hadn’t published. But my words rest. They breathe, they throb, they pulse and they beat along with my heart, and that’s more than I could ever have hoped for.

It’s possible that people hate me for what I’ve written, and I accept that now. But it’s also possible that I’ve inspired someone. Or that what I’ve written has made someone think about issues beyond those that affect their own lives. I don’t know if I’ve changed anything. The chances are slim, if they exist at all.

If you have been reading this, thank you. I don’t know if you agree or disagree with me, but that’s not even what matters. You’ve taken the time to read a few thousand words, spattered with some spelling mistakes and grammar foibles and points that weren’t backed up very well. You’ve taken the time to listen to me, one weird girl in high school, and to hear my voice. And for that I cannot thank you enough.

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Susannah Mitchell

Senior Susannah Mitchell is the Online Co-Editor of the Harbinger with her soulmate, Julia Poe. She enjoys sweaters, feminism, collaging and actor Ezra Miller, whom she believes is a total fox. Read Full »

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