Heroines by Tahimi Perez-Borroto
Innocent and dreamlike, she introduced you to the concept of imagination. Wardrobes, lions, Tumnus, voyages, princes and princesses. Bt most importantly, the heart. The heart is the key to everything. Lucy showed you how beautiful it is to believe, how faith can take you to lands where dragons and mermaids are real. Temptation and darkness weave together as the overarching branches in your forest of light, don’t lean on them. You need only to trust in the truth, of your beauty, of your worth, of your power. Majestic and graceful, remember that what pours down from above pours into you, to be poured into others. You were created for more, for Cair Paravel, The Silver Sea, Aslan’s Country. You are light.
It’s not pronounced the way you think it is. Muggle and proud. Earned her spot in Hogwarts, she showed you that there is nothing you can’t do if you don’t set your mind to it. There is no shame in the lack of intelligence, rather on the surplus of ignorance and evil. Wits, spells, magic, bravery. Hermione taught you the supremacy of knowledge and selflessness, of standing up for those who have no voice. Never underestimate the ordinary, they will whip up a good spell for you, alohomora, wingardium leviosa, bombarda, confundo, jinx, obliviate. You stood in front of your bathroom mirror, hairbrush in hand, certain that the steam rising was because of your wizarding skills. Selfless, intelligent, and compassionate, Hermione led you through all of these the way she led Harry and Ron to greatness. You are far more than what others think of you.
Demigods and Yankee caps, she taught you that girls can kick butt and carry the wisdom of ancient worlds inside them. Just a lost little girl running away she found a home with others just like her. Warm as a summer breeze, Annabeth proved the strength in being vulnerable, in trusting others, in falling in love. Quests, monsters, heroes, the gods, none of it matters if you don’t have the right kind of weapon – your mind. All is fair in love and war, but remember that both cause wounds. Face your fears head on. When in doubt always follow your gut. Even in the pit of Tartarus remember that you are destined for more than what is faced in front of you. Remember that not even the river Lethe can erase who you are. A powerful girl whose mother’s wisdom blood pumps throughout the rivers inside of her. You are wise.
A bloody battleground of skulls and dead dreams, she taught you to be daring. She taught you to stand up for yourself, to rebel, to strengthen your shattered heart in the face of adversity. Katniss taught you to look at the mirror each morning and hold your wobbly chin up, to look beyond the cracks in the system to the possibilities. If you want something, fight for it. Throw the first punch; ensure you’re the last one standing. Make time to pick daisies for the dead, plant it at their graveyards. Let the past wash over you like a monsoon, let it fortify you. There is a war raging inside you like the battle frenzied hoofbeats of horses. Let it drown you. You are not your past. You are not your circumstances. Let the flames of hardship heighten your fire for glory.
Morphed in a world of absolutes, she fought to be more than what she was labeled. There is bravery in selflessness. Courage is stepping in front of a bullet for a loved one. There is a hope that blooms inside your heart and breaks the stones that guard it, to wrap itself against your bones. Tris allowed you to be selfish in decisions concerning yourself and your future, and you grasped it with gentle hands laying it at your feet like an invaluable cloth. Be different, stand out, diverge from the path laid out for you, carve your own. You will let many down, but you will lift many up as well. Love with all that you have, all that you are. You are selfish, but you are also brave.
-Originally published in The Elixir’s 2015-16 edition
-Photo credit to Read It Forward