The Person I Should Have Been

The person I should have been has slender, smooth shoulders with hyperpigmentation-free cheeks and an acne-free face (sans whiteheads). Her skin is pale, but olive enough that it is apparent she’s not from around here; she belongs to the East.

The person I should have been has adipose-free thighs and perfectly arched (as opposed to flat) feet. She isn’t afraid to wear open sandals, and she looks familiar, rather than panicked, in heels. She wears black with earned confidence.

The person I should have been has rosy pink toes and healthy, curvy nails (sans acrylic gel). She doesn’t need the biotin supplements or the castor oil massages, or the latest holy grail to perfect skin, hair or nails. People love to shake hands with her, and touch her hands; they’re baby soft, and calming to hold.

The person I should have been has spot-free hands and scrape-free ankles, with scar-free knees. This person has a warm body, with especially toasty limbs. She gives, rather than needs, warmth.

The person I should have been has strength,

The will to live, the will to die,

The will to succeed,

The will to go on.

She can work — without breaks — nonstop (sans complaints). She doesn’t need to use the Pomodoro method and she doesn’t follow Cornell Notes. She’s successful that way.

She has beauty — more inner than outer. She is bold too — she says things like “beauty stirs within my loins” without stammering. She makes my conscience laugh - blissfully. She inspires happiness within others. People want to talk to her, not because she studies well or at an elite university, but because they simply like communicating with her, in particular. And no, they don’t only talk to her at networking conferences or symposiums. People like to hear her voice both in social and professional contexts.

She attends to all her obligations and finishes deadlines with smiles rather than tears. She’s done with it all before the reminder emails are sent. Her inbox makes you happy.

She does not pick up her phone only to hear her grandmother cough and lecture about marriage and baby-making duties, or the domestic roles of women. She doesn’t listen to feminists speaking in national conventions, either. She’s no Malala or Wonder Woman. She isn’t me, either.

She hangs up, quick and fast — without regret.

She is mostly numb.

She eats clean, green and healthy (sans empty calories or starvation or slowing metabolism). She works out like a pro, and makes elliptical sessions effortless and dumbbells look dumb.

She doesn’t take pills, not even Tylenol or vitamin supplements. The sun is her mineral.

She can focus productivity at once and multitask efficiently even so — easily, without regret once more.

Regret?

The person I should have been is talked about with reverence, cheer and merry glow in my pitch-black, silent eyes.

 

The person I should have been has slender, smooth shoulders with hyperpigmentation-free cheeks and an acne-free face (sans whiteheads). Her skin is pale, but olive enough that it is apparent she’s not from around here; she belongs to the East.

The person I should have been has adipose-free thighs and perfectly arched (as opposed to flat) feet. She isn’t afraid to wear open sandals, and she looks familiar, rather than panicked, in heels. She wears black with earned confidence.

The person I should have been has rosy pink toes and healthy, curvy nails (sans acrylic gel). She doesn’t need the biotin supplements or the castor oil massages, or the latest holy grail to perfect skin, hair or nails. People love to shake hands with her, and touch her hands; they’re baby soft, and calming to hold.

The person I should have been has spot-free hands and scrape-free ankles, with scar-free knees. This person has a warm body, with especially toasty limbs. She gives, rather than needs, warmth.

The person I should have been has strength,

The will to live, the will to die,

The will to succeed,

The will to go on.

She can work — without breaks — nonstop (sans complaints). She doesn’t need to use the Pomodoro method and she doesn’t follow Cornell Notes. She’s successful that way.

She has beauty — more inner than outer. She is bold too — she says things like “beauty stirs within my loins” without stammering. She makes my conscience laugh - blissfully. She inspires happiness within others. People want to talk to her, not because she studies well or at an elite university, but because they simply like communicating with her, in particular. And no, they don’t only talk to her at networking conferences or symposiums. People like to hear her voice both in social and professional contexts.

She attends to all her obligations and finishes deadlines with smiles rather than tears. She’s done with it all before the reminder emails are sent. Her inbox makes you happy.

She does not pick up her phone only to hear her grandmother cough and lecture about marriage and baby-making duties, or the domestic roles of women. She doesn’t listen to feminists speaking in national conventions, either. She’s no Malala or Wonder Woman. She isn’t me, either.

She hangs up, quick and fast — without regret.

She is mostly numb.

She eats clean, green and healthy (sans empty calories or starvation or slowing metabolism). She works out like a pro, and makes elliptical sessions effortless and dumbbells look dumb.

She doesn’t take pills, not even Tylenol or vitamin supplements. The sun is her mineral.

She can focus productivity at once and multitask efficiently even so — easily, without regret once more.

Regret?

The person I should have been is talked about with reverence, cheer and merry glow in my pitch-black, silent eyes.

A taciturn, though trustworthy, Texas-born teenager with old-fashioned tastes, Aliza is a versatile current sophomore majoring in Economics in the College of Letters and Science at the University of California Berkeley, looking forward to all that life and HerCampus has to offer. She has studied in several different schools in over six diverse countries since birth, and has thus suffered several informal 'lawsuits' over fabricating a new response to every "Where are you from?" question every single time it is inquired; the answer differs, depending on the current location and, occasionally, the asker. She is highly interested in expanding her reach through diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth and making an impact in every opportunity offered. She holds extensive experience in writing and blogging, from college articles to research papers, and has traveled widely, to over four high schools throughout her high school career alone. Determined, self-motivated, and willing to learn new skills eagerly, Aliza has always enjoyed writing, particularly about romance genres and fictional topics in both poetry and prose, and has published a limerick in the fifth grade in a British Library anthology book, Young Writers'​ Sagas. Aliza, perhaps the only Millennial who loves broccoli and cauliflower (and lacks a desperately-needed driving license), enjoys watching romance movies (repeatedly), sleeping - but only during the daytime - with three different layers of clothing on (even in July), and laughing her socks off while binging on some good quality Bollywood comedy shows. Yes, it is also true that while writing poetry in her leisure time, Aliza also watches countless soap operas on her (often) dusty MacBook while dreaming of working in the Middle East upon graduation. Harboring an undeniable affinity for airports and travel, she also loves all things walnuts (except brownies).

If you have any business, finance or leadership opportunities, or simply wish to say hi, please feel free to connect with her via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alizasiddiqui/