By Diana Sanchez Vargas
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.” This piece helped me break free and I will forever be thankful to my mentor for encouraging me.
I pick at every little feature on my face.
Some people self-harm by cutting or scratching,
I do it by picking at every bubble on my arms and face.
The acne on my face can keep me distracted for a long time,
Always itchy and bleeding; I probably shouldn’t pick on it
That’s how infections begin
I’ve thought of scratching myself across the face
Maybe then I’ll be happier. I’ll have something to show off,
The stretch marks across my back
The skin on my arms covered in pimples,
I don’t honestly know why my skin is that way
Especially when it used to be smooth.
The perfect body doesn’t exist; the perfect skin is covered by makeup.
My youth isn’t going to be buried under the perfection of society.
I won’t ever press my own children to cover themselves up,
they [she] will never know my pain. I’m dealing with everything now so that she’ll never deal with it.
Let’s trade places now, maybe then I’ll be happier in the future.
I can’t decide whether or not to resign my fate to being a mother or to be free forever.
My children’s features live in me, one day they’ll [I’ll] see my face on theirs.
Hopefully I live long enough to love myself and them.
I know I say a lot of things but I’ve loved children
[Just never my own sisters.]
I want to have my own children one day but I know I’ll be criticized by everyone around me
college isn’t something on my mind anymore; making films and showing my world to the rest of the world
That’s my dream now. To have a family of my own whether adopted or not at whatever age I want.
I can start fostering children at 18. Yet I’ll probably still be here in the same apartment as my parents and siblings.
I want to be able to move on and heal from everything. I have so many open scars that I keep picking at.
I don’t know if therapy is going to help me or not; if I’m able to talk about this then something has to change, [right?]
I plan on leaving once I’m in college.
It’s not promised but I want to make a name for myself. Not a name I hate or think too little of, but one held with respect.
Diana, you’ve probably heard of it. Must have been named after the princess right? Honestly I don’t know, my dad chose my name and my mom chose my middle name. Named after an actress.
Maybe Paola would have been a better person than me.
They always said I would be a good actress [dramatic and a crybaby]
I’ve always wanted to entertain, to be seen even if I’m not heard.
The job would keep me entertained for a while.
I kinda want to be a medical examiner or coroner. Rather deal with the dead than the living. I’ve had enough for my lifetime.
Girls Write Now On the Other Side of Everything: The 2023 Anthology
Do you know what it’s like to communicate with your family across a salty ocean’s divide? Do you want the sun and moon to enter your home with stories written in embers? Do you seek voices that will punctuate the darkness? Welcome to the other side of everything. It’s the other side of silence, the other side of childhood, the other side of hate, the other side of indifference, it’s the other side of sides, where the binary breaks down. It’s a new paradigm, a destination, a different perspective, a mindset, a state of openness, the space between the endless folds in your forehead, hopes for tomorrow, and reflections on the past. This anthology of diverse voices is an everything bagel of literary genres and love songs, secrets whispered in the dark of night, conversations held with ancestors under the sea.
Before I wrote this piece, I had been in a writing slump/break for a much longer time than necessary. Like many others, COVID destroyed my future plans, and I was left wondering where I would go after I gave up on my dream of writing and making a name for myself. I didn’t think about ever publishing this piece because they were just thoughts that jumped into my head at random moments. Not all of them will make sense unless you know me personally but its a peek inside me and who I think I’m becoming.
Diana Sanchez Vargas is the third out of five siblings. They can't really speak Spanish that well and sometimes also mix their words in English, but that stopped bothering them a long time ago. They are the proud daughter of two immigrant parents, one who came in a plane with documents and another who crossed a border. Living in a small apartment building with six other people, they are used to yelling a bit if they want to say anything. So if they are quiet and cold, that doesn't mean they don’t care for you.