She Was Beautiful

"She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines.  She was beautiful, for the way she thought.  She was beautiful, for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved.  She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad.  No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks.  She was beautiful, deep down to her soul."

F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Beautiful and Damned

When I was younger, I would constantly define myself by what others thought of me.  How I looked, my success on the tennis court, how involved I was.  I wanted people to constantly be impressed or proud of what I was doing at all times.  This became a huge struggle with my physical appearance.  I was self conscious and would second guess how I looked on a regular basis.  I wanted to be beautiful in the eyes of everyone else, but never really thought about being beautiful to myself.

Overtime I have learned that my beauty is not defined by what I wear or what color my hair is.  My beauty is defined by how I carry myself and how I treat others around me.  I fall deeply in love with those individuals who choose to invest in me and support me through my failures.  They don't love me because I look pretty, or dress the part.  They genuinely care about me because I have chosen to care about them.  They lift me up when I have fallen because I have helped them walk through trials.  They dry my tears because they know when the time comes, I will be waiting with a rag of my own.  So, with that being said I constantly make it a goal not just to invest in my outer beauty, but to focus on myself and remember that my beauty comes from within.

For my birthday, my sister-in-law gave me this shirt from Scarlet & Gold.  I absolutely love this quote.  I read it over and over now and love being able to see that it is our actions that truly make us beautiful.  Remember that.  I know I talk about clothes all the time and I please don't get me wrong, I love to play dress up.  But in the middle of all of that I remember what is most important.  I want to be beautiful because you see that sparkle in my eye.  I want to be beautiful because I make you smile.  I want to be beautiful because I am me.

Photos by Darian Kayce Photography