There is a photo from my graduation day.
In it, you see the smiles and happiness of the day.
What you do not see is so layered and complex.
You do not see the tears
or the time in freshman year
when I thought I could not do it.
You do not see the times I wanted to give up
or the fear I lived in,
thinking I had let others down.
You do not see the time I thought that my
worth cam from my body
and thought it would never be right.
You do not see the confusion I
faced when I looked for
validation in men.
You do not see the disbelief
that filled my whole being
when I finally found him.
You do not see the disappointment I
felt when I realized I still
did not know who I was.
You do not see the years
of wondering, pain, confusion and suffering
that are hidden behind that smile.