When I was younger, I carved an “Unequal” symbol into my middle finger – the math symbol. Because I felt less than. Because I felt lowly in my image and self-esteem as an eighth-grader searching for her identity in a new world of hormones, loss, and public school. Because I wanted to fit in. Because I wanted friends, a life, acceptance.
I thought the mark would fade after some time. I thought it would just go away with my changing body one day. But it’s stayed. It’s a part of me. I have to live with it; it’s stuck on me every day until the day I die. My first tattoo, carved with a retractable pencil at the lunch table of a middle school. It hasn’t faded a day since I’ve done it.
But now I look at it, now I see its truth: I’m not equal, but I sure am not lowly or mediocre or less than. I don’t think I’m better than or superior to anything either. But I am not equal. I was never born for ordinary. I was never made to fit in. I have always been different. I’ve always walked a higher path. I am totally unequal to my peers in ways they will absolutely NEVER understand or could possibly equate themselves to. And I cherish this.
Messages from the grave and beyond, I thank you. For all the lessons and lifetime of practices, how could I ever be prepared for something so subtle as this reminder from ten years past? …
Life has a funny way of coming full-circle…