I wanted to be perceived as beautiful. I wanted my eyes and lips and neckline to be mesmerising and sweet and tempting.

I would observe myself in the mirror and contemplate how my cheekbones blend in with my round, hazel eyes.

I took pride in my tall figure and walked it bold and entitled.

Shoes and handbags and colorful, silky or soft things, were stuffed in my drawers, mingled and very less worn because, hey, a girl can’t pull the same outfit more than three times.
Blazers with oversized shoulders, open-back dresses, sequined tops, tutu skirts, stilettos, bangles, hair curls, winged eyes, shimmery and sunkissed skin- You name it!I’ve rocked all the superficial ideas that passed as a trend.

Never would go to mini store looking shabby. It was not only a matter of self respect but also a deep rooted vanity that wouldn’t let me pass as an ordinary girl. I had to look alluring even in the most common circumstances when a shirt and a ponytale would be a reasonable choice.

Phoney, attention seeker, manipulative, wannabe? I wouldn’t say. Maybe curious, disoriented and fairly young.

Behind the walls, like any other young woman, I would wonder if anyone has noticed my far from perfect hairline or thick lower lip, my little hooded eyes or my uneven smile. My crooked lower teeth were somewhat disturbing me. As well, I always thought blue-eyed girls are the most beautiful.

While adjusting my dresses, I would question whether my waist can ever be too small or my ankles too delicate.

I carried all these insecurities with me over years, but managed to display my charm anyway. And use humour as a way to ignore them.

After a decade of flaunting my beauty, I became spirited by the idea that being acknowledged as quick-witted was socially more celebrated.

Soon I acquainted myself with cuantic physics, philosphy, history, arts, religion. Became obsessed with pseudosciences such as numerology, alternative medicine, channelling or extra-sensory perception.

I wanted no one to question my perspicacity nor my ability to defend my opinions. I begun using words and knowledge as a weapon. I surprised myself cutting through the flash of those who would dare to be suspicious that I could get it wrong. It was important to be perceived as a conversational hurricane.

I still have memories of myself bewildering my teachers. Or being overly confident and speculative during training sessions, distract the audience at the expense of the instructor. There was a devilish pride flourishing inside me when overshadowing with my remarks the only accredited in the room.

Ah, turbulent times and energy used for the wrong purposes!

Becoming a biochemical engineer or an environmental scientist just didn’t work for me. I had to spend years building strategies to impress the community.

I couldn’t say I have lost respect for erudition but surely I value more the compassionate, caring one. After hunting for a long time the wrong things, one’s soul settles in a moist, warm and welcoming environment. Most will get that life has a depper, more fulfilling meaning.

Today there is nothing at stake other that my own sense of peace, my mental tranquility. What others say is not an absolute truth and what happens around me is a matter of perspective.

I am slowly moving into an age of unconditional contempt where I am comfortable with fine wrinkles on both sides of my mouth, where I foolishly get things wrong and don’t feel ridiculed when I have to offer apologies. The life has humbled me, made me soft spoken. As slippery as I was before, now I am bold and straightforward.

And I don’t care.

I walk down the road with a stack of fears that matter less and less and I avoid being dragged in the muddy scenes of my mind.

“So be it, Isabela … “ I tell myself.

Whether we’re tall, short, chubby, tanned or fair-skinned, pimpled or smooth, big-mouthed or gentle, confused or determined, as long as we respect another and have a set of values, we’re doing fine.

Today I regret most that I haven’t discovered this living earlier but, I can already tell that tomorrow, even this regret won’t exist any longer.

Life can take sudden turns and those verily resented days, may become the most longed for.

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