I wanted to be just like her.
I wanted to carry myself the way she did, so elegantly. So gracefully.
She was intentional. Authentic. With every step. Every word. Every laugh. Every thoughtful pause.
She oozed confidence. She didn’t care what anyone thought of her.
She was the girl who turned heads everywhere she went. She didn’t seem to notice or care.
But she knew.
She was aware of her power, but she didn’t flaunt it. She wore it, like sexy lingerie underneath her clothes.
She wore it for herself and no one else.
I absolutely admired her beauty, but it was her fearlessness and self-awareness that made her so captivating. She owned who she was to her core.
In her presence, I somehow felt connected to the uncharted, deepest, darkest parts of myself. It was as if she held the key to the impenetrable steel box that contained my inner being. My true self. My fire.
There was no judgement around her. No criticism (or at least none that felt like criticism).
She was smart, educated, beautiful, and confident. She knew what she wanted and she knew how to get it.
She was the epitome of who I wanted to be. She embodied the person I wanted the world to see when they looked at me.
As I sit here recalling our friendship and how much I admired her, I realize now why I could never have been like her back then.
I didn’t yet possess the self-knowledge and self-confidence she had. I hadn’t experienced the things she experienced, or seen and done and learned the things she had – things that ultimately led her to become the woman I held at such high regard.
I had not a clue who I was.
But I do now – 15 years later. And, it’s not so much that I want to be like her anymore.
I want to be me. I want to be fearlessly, confidently, beautifully, intelligently, wholeheartedly, ME. But in doing so, in truly owning who I am, I am becoming that person I had yearned to be for so long. The person I saw when I looked at her; an unapologetic, intentional, authentic woman.