STEP documents the senior year of a girls’ high-school step dance team against the background of inner-city Baltimore. As each one tries to become the first in their families to attend college, the girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in the troubled city.
When you leave the room, they whisper how incredible you are. Behind your back, they look at you in awe. To everyone else, you are Superwoman. You have it all together. You are kind and loving. You take care of your kids, your husband, your friends. In fact, the people in your life want to be you.
Yet you can't see what they see. You think, "I am not enough."
Because those things everyone around you sees are simply your vision of what you could be, the fabrication of who you hope to become, not who you believe you already are.
You tell yourself, "Sure, people think I'm amazing," but you feel a bit like a fraud because you know those who look at you in awe don't see you feeding the kids Oreos for breakfast or watching Netflix instead of folding laundry. They don't hear the angry things you've thought about your husband or the pessimistic thoughts you have when you wake up in the morning. They don't know those secrets.
You think to yourself: "If they saw who I really am, they wouldn't really think I'm so incredible."
You look at yourself and see the mess of weaknesses woven together, and sometimes that almost breaks you.
But what you might not realize is that your ability to see those weaknesses is exactly what makes you a strong woman. It's what lets you keep correcting, moving forward and becoming.
So even though your ability to recognize your weaknesses makes you strong, it's also what makes you insecure.
But hear this: Just because you are full of flaws, it doesn't mean you are not valuable. It doesn't mean you aren't a beautiful soul. It doesn't mean you aren't strong.
You can still live a worthy life, even if every second you're not living up to your vision of who you could be - of who you will be.
So embrace the weakness. Giggle with your kids while indulging in cookies for breakfast, wring every ounce of joy from the hour or two you neglect chores for a movie and recognize it's OK to get frustrated with people you love.
Find joy in the mess, humor in the pain and sweetness in the sorrow.
You can still live your best life if not every second lives up to your vision.
Because the beauty really lies in the struggle to transform ourselves into that vision - not in being the vision.
Even so, you are beautiful today, every flawed piece of you.