Bikes. Food. Style. Hip Hop. Love. Justice.
I used to curse my height. Always the shortest boy in class. Always the last one picked for kickball. Always bullied. Always treated like a mascot.
I used to curse my quietness. Always invisible. Always drowned out under the piercing voices of popular kids.
I cursed my skin. I cursed my nose. I cursed my need for love, my vulnerability.
I overcompensated. To be the better ballplayer, the better skater, the better rapper. To build a bigger and stronger shield—a thicker mask—than everyone else. My late sleep patterns attributed to evenings spent trying to prove that I belonged.
Only to realize that the acceptance I did all that work for wasn’t worth it. That the lens I saw the world through, at my size, in my silence, was what gave my story its edge. What gave my perspective its worth. And now I walk with the irony that it is those abnormal parts of myself that are actually the most beautiful things I can offer to the world.
If only I can remember where I hid them.