top of page


by Dianalaura Damian-Castillo

My stomach aches at three a.m. from anxiety about how to survive the school day. I finally find comfort from cuddling with my soft plushies and manage to calm down and get around two to three hours of sleep before my alarm to get ready for school goes off. The loud alarm makes my heart stop because I fell asleep with my phone next to my ear. I roll around the bed, gathering the strength to get up, but the comfort and warmth of my bed swallow me in. I finally get up, and I first stand in front of my bathroom mirror and take a deep breath before I prepare to be hard on myself while I get ready for school. I look at my favorite pieces of clothing and wish I had the confidence to wear them to school, but I need to blend in. I am fifteen years old. 

The scent of flowers is my favorite fragrance because every single one has its own unique scent, but they're all so beautiful. Walking through a garden feels so heavenly. Stopping to smell each different kind of flower, picking a few of each type, and continuing your walk smelling their scents together. The most petite flowers are just as beautiful as the biggest ones. I love flowers. 

The smell of burnt hair floods my entire room, but my curly hair is not beautiful. All the pretty girls at school have straight, glossy soft hair. As an hour flies by and my arms feel heavy and hot, my stomach aches once again. I rush to do a full face of makeup because my eyebrows are too ugly and thin, and my eyelashes are too short and straight. I proceed and make my way to look into my full body mirror and start to hate my body because I look like a little boy. Why does my body not look like theirs? I am fifteen years old. 

Sunflowers are known for their dazzling yellow color and large size. Roses are known for being used as a gift of love and for being in many different colors. Daisies are known for being found anywhere you can see grass during spring. They are very common, but they decorate the grounds and fill your path with their beautiful presence. No matter what flower crosses your path, you find them beautiful because no such ugly flower exists, even if they come in different colors, shapes, and sizes. I love flowers. 

All throughout my freshman year of high school, I treated my body and mind with such hate, and not a single drop of love was found within me. Walking around the halls staring at the girls I wished I looked like and making notes on what to change and pick on once I arrived home. After the exhaustion of being my own bully, I learned to become comfortable in my own skin, and I watched how much I grew and bloomed. I may have stopped blending in and trying to be like the other girls, but I learned that it was okay to be different and be authentic and kind to myself because I am also just as beautiful as the other girls. Just like all flowers are different, they're all beautiful in their unique ways. 

bottom of page