“Be yourself.” They said and so she was.
She wove flowers in her hair and she wore bracelets up to her elbows. She darkened her eyes and she danced in the moonlight. She sang at the top of her lungs and her walk was melodious. She showed love freely and she never said no. She lived.
“Wait, no. That’s not what we meant.” They muttered. “Behave properly.” So she did.
She tied her hair back and her steps were muted. She never spoke above room level and she carried herself with grace and elegance. She was rarely affectionate. She was perfect and she was miserable.
“Why are you so sad?” They wondered. “Be happy.” So she tried.
She smiled and laughed, though there was no true emotion behind it. She had friends and she was never alone. She was popular. Everyone wanted to be her and be with her. She was always in a crowd of people and she had never been lonelier.
“She’s such a snob. She thinks she’s so great because everyone loves her.” They sneered. “She’s always trying to be a people pleaser”
And she realized she was. She did what they wanted because they made her think it was what she wanted. She tried and tried to be what they said was best for her but then she realized nobody but her knew what was best for her. So she forgot them all.
She moved far away to where the voices would never find her. She bared her skin in the sun and she started her life anew. She dyed her hair all the colors of the rainbow and she was friends with wildlife. She learned to swim with fishes and soar with birds. She was happy and she was perfect and she was joyful and she lived and lived until her final breath.
“How did she do it?” Someone wondered. “How do I live my life that well?”
“It’s easy.” They replied. “Just be yourself.”