It seems that every time I find a picture to post on Instagram, I go to write the description, but it becomes such a novel that I backspace as I remember, “I have a blog for that.”

Instead of leaving you with a super long description, have a new post!

I had written about how hurricane Harvey knocked down the building where my first recital costume resided in a dresser, and how the dresser was burned and everything in it, including the costume. I had written about how I stood on the pile of building remains and cried as the reality of everything hit me. How I also had to pull myself together rather quickly as I didn’t have time into fall apart, and how this seems to be the story of my life. (And honestly probably why I’m so sick, let’s be real.)

Mom said she knows there were pictures of that recital somewhere, but we hadn’t found them yet, and honestly at this point I was too afraid to be hopeful. I had seen what happened to important pictures that were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and my heart had shattered knowing they were gone, irreplaceable.

While going through one of the boxes from the building, I found this

A picture of me and my friend Kayla on stage during our first ballet recital. It was 1995. I was 7.

I smile knowing that there is at least something remaining of my first year of ballet. Of the time that the ballet bug bit me and never left me alone. I laugh as I remember asking how to do first position since when I did it, my knees couldn’t straighten, and how you can see it in this picture.

There’s another picture stuck to the back of this one, and I carefully peel it apart and find this

It’s Kayla and me, after our recital, you can see my slight pigeon-toed tendencies and how Kayla always walked turned out, the writing from the  back of the first picture having bled over onto this one.

And it just makes me so happy.

It’s messed up. There’s water damage around the edges, pieces of the picture missing, there’s writing all across us, it’s warped. But it exists.

It’s me. It’s me and my best friend after our first recital, beaming at the camera, my moms hand writing sprawled across us, now a tattoo of resilience inked upon the photos surface.

I think I love the picture even more in its imperfection. I feel more of a draw to it. My life is nothing like perfection; it’s painful and complicated. There’s scars sprawled across my skin and more ahead for me. But it’s the hopenin this little girl’s eyes that has pushed me through all that. It’s the dreams in her mind that keep me going. It’s the comfort I find in knowing she would look at me with eyes full of wonder and be proud.

Life sucks. It’s hard. It hurts. And there’s no end in sight.

But life is still beautiful.


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