The waves kiss my feet, the wind tangles my hair. The sun kisses my skin, I’m no longer scared. As the music flows through my veins, I begin to remember my name. My scars are exposed they share my story, I’m not ashamed, they are part of me. I’ll continue to pick myself up putting the pieces back together one by one. I’ll never give up, nor will I break. you can’t steal my pride, it’s not yours to take. It’s my time to shine, freedom at last. Finally I can breathe, letting go of the past. In the end I’ll always be me, so let it be. I embrace the girl staring back at me, she might be broken but she’s alive and free. 

-Natalie Smith, Houston, Texas