The alarm sounds, and my eyes flutter open. I remain disoriented for a few moments, trying my hardest to decipher where I am, and if the previous night's dreams have any relation to my current reality. I look toward the source of the noise and see a red glare. I focus my eyes, and make out "6:30." I sit up, grunting slightly, and stretch my neck. I hear multiple cracks in doing so, and this reminds me that I'm nothing but human, and that's precisely what I'll always be. I scoot my feet out from under the covers and place them parallel on the carpet to the side of my bed. I look at them with great respect. I like my feet. They've taken me on countless adventures. They look so vulnerable, yet so strong, and I love them for taking me wherever it is that I desire to go. I stand up and my knees pop, as though I'm 90 years old, just as they always do when I bend and stand, also reminding me that I'm merely human. I walk toward the glaring red numbers and obnoxious sound and flip the switch on the side to discontinue the harsh noise. I take a deep breath and walk to the right side of my room. I approach the window and, instantly, I reach for the drawstring and begin to pull the closed blinds open. I always sleep with the blinds closed. I do this specifically because I love for the new day to be a surprise. The blinds send small dust particles that immediately make their way through my nasal passages. I look out at the window, and my eyes are greeted with the lovely sight of a winter wonderland. My first thought is to pray for a safe commute to school. Second, I think about the placement of my leather gloves, and how I will be needing them on a day such as this. The third and final thought I had in these few short moments was one of gratitude. God always takes beauty into consideration when deciding the weather forecast. I smile, imagining God designing the weather, and I wonder if he thought of me while he was doing so.
I walk to the mirror and rub my face, then I rub my eyes. I blink a few times, then I take a peek at myself. The morning light shines on my face through the window. I run my fingers through my hair, and I know that this is the only attention it will receive all day. My lungs open and my mouth widens and my body yawns. I look again at my face. This isn't just any face that I see. This is my face.
I furrow my brow and purse my lips in amazement.
That's me. Those are my empty green eyes, the ones I've looked through for 17 and a half years. Those are my lips. They are lips that I've given away sparingly at times, freely at others. That's my nose. That nose goes outside every day, draws a deep breath, and takes in the scent of the season at hand.
This is me. This is who I am.
My cracking neck, my popping knees, my stumbling feet, my nimble fingers, my tangled hair, my empty eyes, my wide nose, my oversized lips, my fair skin. I smile slightly. This is what makes me human.
There is freedom in my soul. My human soul. This sort of freedom can only be achieved through an empty winter morning.
The morning version of myself is one of greatness.
It's the version of me that isn't hiding anything.
Mallory Elizabeth. The human.