i am claire. michelle is my middle name. it is also my mother’s name, which i inherited after she gave birth to me at home in the midst of a spring snow storm in colorado on march 7, 1998. i hope to be half the badass she is someday. i live in a little beach town nestled along the coastline. no traffic lights. one gas station. a place where people call one another by their first name and being barefoot in grocery stores is socially acceptable. i can’t remember the last time I brushed my hair, wore a bra, or shaved my legs. for the past nine months i drove a car i found on the side of the road whose windows didn’t roll up. at all. and it rains in hawaii. a lot. a few weeks ago, tiny ferns began to SPROUT in my backseat. growing up, i was a severely introverted only child who found a home in books instead of humans. i built fairy houses and bug hospitals from sticks and rocks in my backyard. i climbed trees and danced in lullaby rain. i believed in magic. i still do. i can count on my fingers the number of people who really know me inside and out. if you are a friend, you are family. when i love, i love relentlessly. fiercely. unapologetically. i am an anorexia survivor. i used to eat under 300 calories a day and not be able to walk up a single flight of stairs without nearly fainting. today, i wake up each morning as the whole world sleeps and run for hours on end. movement is medicine. wounds turn to wildflowers in time. i am fairly sure there isn’t a single logical bone in my body. nearly every decision i make is guided by my heart over my head. i am a sliver of eternity awakening into its divine nature through this form. which also happens to currently be the body of a 19 year old human being. social media is not a reflection of who i am. it is a channel for creativity. just because i use weird words and write long captions does not mean i am enlightened or have ascended into some magical fourth dimension. when i was a little girl, all i wanted to be when grew up was pretty. i hated my giraffe limbs and elf nose, my dimple chin and unmanageably thick hair. seventh grade was the loneliest year of my life. the bathroom stalls were my sanctuary from bullies during the day. my mother’s arms were my refuge at night. each day i would come home from school and collapse into her embrace. she would cradle me in her limbs, gently brushing the saltwater spilling through my lashes. soft hazel eyes steadily met my own as she held my face in her fingertips and whispered, “hurt people, hurt people. they are the ones who need your love the most.” now I am grown up, and all I want to do is change this world.