Sometimes I pretend to be the tough girl and listen to songs that say "I don't miss you" and "I'm better off without you". I've been pretending for almost two weeks now to be strong. Maybe it's my armor. It hides what's inside me.
I lost my armor at Young Women yesterday. I went into the mountains armed with invisible iron and masked by black sunglasses. But less than halfway up the trail I already felt like giving up. I didn't say anything to anyone and hoped they wouldn't notice the sweat dripping down my face and neck. Only two people trudged along behind me, my friends 50 feet ahead of me. I watched them talk as they strolled so easily uphill. With the physical exhaustion came feelings of pure despair. We never stopped for a break. The mountain was steep and my feet and legs ached and shook from the strain of walking. The sun was hot and my armor melted off onto the dirt path.
We finally stopped after five miles. I sat down on a log and almost started sobbing. My hair was wet and my pink streak dripped tiny drops of pink dye onto my back. My glasses were soaked with sweat, fogged up, and making my face even hotter than it was. I slowly removed them and looked around before attempting to massage my calves back to life. I felt like everyone was looking at me, my mind so uncomfortably exposed. I tried so hard to be strong for so long, but now they saw the real me. The weakness I've felt for these long weeks. I was too ashamed to speak.
They tried to get me in the group picture, but I never wanted to see myself that humiliated again.