She’s Changed

Pushing back on expectation - inviting people to change, without the fear of judgement. A creative piece by Hannah Cohen

If you asked me to pause 

To take a snapshot that encapsulates where I’m at in life right now 

You’d probably think I’m messing with you 

Because truthfully, I’d respond with an over exhausted phrase 

A common summary 

Used to casually throw some irony into one’s conversations. 

I’m scribbling vigorously outside the lines of the one dimensional sketch of my persona. 

I’m smearing stains in scarlett hues on the neatly prescribed colour-by-numbers


It’s tiresome.

Our timelines are oversaturated by the sugary couplet. 

Following this, I’d politely ask you to peel back your preconceived notions of the frivolously used sentence 

And hear what I’m trying to say. 

To strip back your cloudy judgments

And watch closely what I’m trying to do. 

You see, I am going through a period of experimentation. 

I’m scribbling vigorously outside the lines of the one dimensional sketch of my persona. 

I’m smearing stains in scarlett hues on the neatly prescribed colour-by-numbers

That had been illustrated by the perceptions of my peers. 

As I test the waters, I’m making ripples in my reputation, 

Making transformative waves in my social orbit.

Tending to the delicate biodiversity of the environment that envelops me 

To ensure that everything remains in harmonious chaos. 

For at the moment, change is comfortable. 

It serves as the backdrop of the stage on which I perform many roles

Characters that represent fragments of my whole being 

Like the actors, the set is flourishing with ever growing props

All positioned with purpose in front of a cyclical full moon.

With my bold choices, 

I create a scene. 

I go off script

And witness the audience gasp. 

They’re confronted, 

In awe of my shape shifting techniques. 

Currently, I’m working tirelessly towards a future

Where we are never again tempted to whisper denigrating assumptions of other women,

Enticing others to fall into pits of self doubt

Spitting out the vile conclusion that “she’s fake,”

Based on the observation that they knew her one way

And she now appears brand new. 

I no longer want to feel the stab of daggers masqued by the words

“You’ve changed.”


I envision a world where we nurture each other’s growth 

Where we protect the poppy sides

And encourage them to scrape the sky. 

Where we weed out the careless playground insults 

Designed to trap us into confined spaces 

Where we prohibit the planting of poisonous vines 

That smothers our beautiful minds. 

I wish that our success did not offend onlookers, 

But inspired them. 

I no longer want to feel the stab of daggers masqued by the words

“You’ve changed.”

I will ignore your attempt to hide your contempt 

As it cowers behind your ambiguous tone. 

Judgement will only restore my purpose 

To resist. 

Before for now, 

I am finding myself. 

I am innocent and I’m jaded

I am headstrong and easygoing

I am confident yet unsure. 

Rash yet careful. 

I am constantly discovering, 

crafting 

And revealing parts of myself to the world 

With hesitant pride.

We are all growing

Our futures are boundless

They await us with zero expectations 

Other than bravery.

Hannah is a second year Monash Journalism student and a reporter and gender and sexuality section editor at MOJO News, and co-host of the podcast Gays and Gals. Hannah writes about resisting against the limiting roles assigned to young women so that they remain palatable, through evolution and growth.

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