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looked in the mirror, 

like i do every day,

not expecting to feel

any certain way. 

i thought: "wow". 

wow, in the fact that it was me. 

just me. 

not the me affected by 

other people, stress, life. 

it was just me. 

i just looked at myself and thought


because, truthfully,

i have never looked at myself

and been amazed at the person standing in front of me:

the person i am,

the person i am becoming. 

i am overcome with emotion as i look at myself.

i feel happy,

i look happy;

a feeling i haven't experienced in a while.

i let all of the noise fall away:

from people telling me who i need to be,

what i need to be, 

what i need to look like,

how i need to act. 

i am me.

and that's all i can be. 

for the first time,

i feel fulfilled. 

Addie Barnes

C of C '23

just a small town girl, taking on the world one day at a time
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