Finding The Key To Ki
by Kiara Grace Nalle
“I am strong because I know weakness” is one of my favorite quotes.
The strength within those few words can truly be acknowledged by those who have encountered such tremendous self-turmoil. I look back at myself, and I do not see me.
Instead I see a weakened soul and confusion between self-love and self-hate. I see innocence being led by her demons, I see a closed-off adolescent with her body playing the role of her heart, I see healed and reopened wounds both on her interior and exterior. I see a masked face who has mastered creating joy and laughter in others, but is lost in being the creator of her own smiles.
I do not see who I am when I look to the past me, and even then, I knew I wasn’t being who I was created to be. I knew I was becoming the me I am living and breathing in now. The me who looks forward to tomorrows, next weeks, next months, and new years. The me who cries happy tears more often than sad, the me who is defeating her self defeat, the me who laughs at herself not out of feelings of embarrassment or stupidity but out of pure silliness, the me who takes risks with my heart and allows people in to my mind, the me who silenced my exterior scars and continues to rebuild the interior while healing my wounds, the me who turns down the demons who were once friends to me guiding my way, the me who is the only person who owns myself, the me after finding my ROAR.
ROAR. A word that carries such power in four letters, like BOOM, here I am, time to HEAR ME ROAR.
But finding my roar has been quite silent from the outside looking in. And even while so silent externally, my interior dialogue was the loudest thing I have experienced. I couldn’t hear anything or anyone over myself. But was it really myself who was speaking or was it all of the noise that does such a great job camouflaging itself?
The unattainable guidelines of women. The weight, the body type, the hair length, the color, the pigment of the skin, the smoothness, the submissiveness, the calmness, the nurturer, the strength but not too strong, the emotion filled, the strict line of femininity and masculinity that you may cross at the risk of being ridiculed by your peers.
No, I couldn’t find myself, my roar, because I was too busy attempting to blend into our society’s messed-up vision of women. The constant comparison of myself to other women, instead of comparing my current self to the past me. I didn’t have an appetite for bettering who I was; all I craved was to change myself: Different hair colors, crazy makeup or shall I say face paint, drugs to “decrease” the pressure of my pain, men to use before they could use me, diet pills, skipped meals, hair weaves, fake nails, friends to feel alone with, medications to decrease my many abnormalities but made me feel further from “normal” than I had felt before, was I them yet? Did I look how I wanted to feel? Was I even close?
Consumed in the shell of beauty, I would often not allow myself to acknowledge my inner beauty. The beauty that runs through me, connects me, and balances me. “The inside is all that matters.” I remember hearing that so often, but it meant I would have to open up and allow people in. At least with my shell I was protected, if they didn’t like what they saw I could be a chameleon and change again. but once I show them who I am, what I am won’t matter. This was my biggest fear announcing itself.
I wished I could switch eyes with them, to see myself the way they saw me. In my mind, I was so far from the beauty I had been chasing. But the beauty I had been attempting to mirror didn’t belong to me. It was theirs. I had to realize “the presence of another woman’s beauty, is not the absence of your own.”
I continue to learn how to embrace my beauty, both inner and outer, by creating my own definition of “woman.” As a roaring woman, I am one who loves myself, but am still learning to like myself and hold herself up alone, instead of waiting for others to pick up my two feet and walk for me. I am a woman who now doesn’t wait for an answer but seeks my own, who now runs beside other women and does not compete. I am a woman who is now learning to not feel guilt or regret for how I have treated my mind, heart, and body. I am a woman who is now learning self-fulfillment, and I refuse to compromise my standards.
I am a woman who now conquers instead of gets defeated. I flaunt my flaws in front of strangers, and now find happiness enjoyable. I am a woman who now has girlfriends who teach me sisterhood in return. I am a woman who sympathizes with women.
I am a woman who feels the weight of her strength instead of the strength of her weaknesses, I am now a woman who ROARS.
Kiara Grace Nalle (known by her friends and peers as Ki) is a twenty-two-year-old student who resides in Raleigh, NC. She is studying Adolescent Psychology with a focus in Business. Going through adolescence was a sure challenge for Kiara which incorporated treatment facilities and assistance from professionals in the mental health field. Her passion for psychology today stems from overcoming many obstacles as a teen and wanting to help other adolescents as a lifelong profession. She has begun the writing process for her autobiography titled, “Hello, My Name Is Crazy.”