To My Ears

A kind of silly, random journal entry based off a writing prompt challenge. Have you ever completely hated something about yourself even though there was nothing really wrong with it, simply because of what others said?

Dear Ears,

I’m sorry I disliked you for so long. It really wasn’t your fault. Sure, you’re a little large. And yes, you’re a little unevenly matched as a pair. Right Ear, it’s true that you stick out a little. But it’s ok. I’ve spent most of my teen years hiding you beneath my hair and trying to figure out how to stick you down closer to my scalp, but I’m over that now. You’re cute, actually.

To be honest, I can’t remember when my frustration with you began. When I was tiny, you looked twice as large, but I didn’t mind. I wore my pigtails and braids with pride. I never thought twice about you, didn’t realize there was anything funny about you. Now, I think there wasn’t. You were just fine.

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It’s coming back to me now. It was my cousin who first sparked my dislike of you. On a rare and joyous visit to Indiana to see the extended family, I was cheerfully munching pizza at my grandparents’ diner when he decided to take a picture of me. I grinned, cheesing it up. “Wait,” he said, and reached over to yank out my braid and pull my hair over you. “Better. You look way prettier when you cover those big things up,” he said, just trying to be helpful. A sneaking insecurity took root instantly. I went to the bathroom later and compared you, covered with hair versus exposed. Maybe he was right. For the first time, I noticed the unevenness, wondered if you were ugly. I immediately hated you, the way a preteen hates having “too many” freckles or an unusual nose. I’d never hated part of me before.

And then there was the campground summers in Massachusetts, where half the kids knew my real name and all of them called me Big-Eared Girl. I pretended not to care, but I hated you even more. On dozens of occasions, brutally honest kids told me you looked like monkey ears. You weren’t even that large, I thought! I wore hats. I made sure my hair always draped down just so.

Now, I’m a little older, and I just realized (very randomly) that I don’t give a crap anymore. So I’m writing you this note in celebration of the death of a petty insecurity. It was a tiny one, but surprisingly important to me. Ears, kids are mean, but you’re just fine. You’re quite elven, actually. You hear music all around me, in the whisper of the trees or the roar of a train. You let me pick up fiddle tunes in a moment and help me distinguish languages from around the world. I’m not embarrassed by you anymore.

I think I’ll wear my hair up today.

Sincerely,

The growing-more-confident chick you’re attached to.

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