Here Is The Secret: There Are So Many Versions Of You (And They All Matter Just As Much)

What would happen if, in the midst of all of the hardship of growing into yourself, you were stranded on a deserted island? Not alone, but with a group of girls who were all from different walks of life, who were all trying to figure out themselves, too?

In Amazon’s thrilling and powerful show, The Wilds, this is the stark, new normal for a group of young women. Within this varied crew, we meet Nora, an incredibly brave and quiet soul.

Abruptly, Nora and her peers are faced with this uncomfortable, startling reality.

What does it mean to be a young woman when so much of your normalcy has been stripped away? How do you find yourself in the chaos? How do you form friendships and bonds with girls who are trying their best to navigate their own growth, while simultaneously surviving this incredible trauma? 

I can tell you, I have almost arrived at the gates of my thirties, and there are still versions of myself I have not met yet. Versions of me still waiting to evolve, waiting to manifest themselves through lessons and years. 

But in this one, at this moment in time? I am many things, but in my heart, Nora and I have the same common love of words. We are writers. 

I have always written, always loved the ebb and flow of language. I find myself in words, buried in sentences, slid in between bound paperbacks and library shelves. 

What if words filled your mind in a way that calmed instead of rattled? What if not everything needed to be said, but instead was simply felt, thought, or written down to be lived again someday?

It isn’t without exception, but I have found that sometimes the best poetry is written from the hushed in-between moments. 

In The Wilds, these moments are harder and harder for Nora to come by, and it is these moments, however small and almost imperceptible, that help stir and evoke emotion, that take shape in the recesses of our memory. And aren’t we all yearning for a little bit of poetry; a little bit of beauty to seep in between the cracks, the way the sun does through our curtains in the morning.

It is often the quiet that allows thought to blossom into a true, well-rounded story. 

And so it goes that on a sleepy, rainy Monday, I might revel in solitude. I might float through the day like river water, with my head high up in the clouds. On a sun-soaked Thursday, I might want to dance. I might want to stretch my wings and greet the world. I might smile at strangers. 

You can be both. 

Like me, like Nora, you can be a great many things.

In fact, courage is often quiet, radiating from a place inside of us that is infinitely precious and reserved for when needed. You can exist within stillness and yet remain a murmuring brook of strength. You can build a fortress of softness, and still carry an intangible, roaring bravery. 

If needed it is possible to hold these pieces all at once, and you have probably more times than you know, without even realizing it. 

Perhaps with a tight grip, perhaps with loose fingers. It is all a part of your story. It is all part of Nora’s story, too. Part of the seconds and minutes and years that make up our lives. 

It goes the same way for me. Writing is such an immeasurable piece of my life story, but it isn’t the whole story. It is merely one small segment of a much larger, grand outline of my life.

Each day you wake up is a new chapter, filled with your own composition of rich, textured layers and subtle nuances. We all have them. We all experience the world through our own multidimensional built-in lenses. 

We all have different traumas, different hardships, different struggles. We are no different from all of the girls in The Wilds; we all have different milestones, celebrations, moments of joy. The truth is, beneath the surface of everyone you will ever meet, there are a million lives, a thousand stories unfolding and developing. All of us surviving in our own ways, and all of our stories invaluable. 

Here is the secret: there are so many versions of you. There are so many versions of all of us. You might be a writer, too. You might be a listener, a singer, a tap dancer. You might be an artist, an observer, an analytical thinker. 

It is up to you to decide which pieces of your life you lean into. You are the president, the CEO, the manager and all of the employees. 

You have to figure out which pieces light you up and which ones hinder you. 

This is the hard part. 

But if you get stuck, and the answer isn’t a clear one, sometimes watching people walk their own individual paths can help us sort through ours. Maybe taking the night of December 11th to catch the free premiere of The Wilds could be cathartic, or at the least, could allow you to feel connected to people experiencing the same feelings that you are.

I have always believed that poetry, that connection, heals. To lean in, truly lean into our complete selves, we have to first understand. Poetry opens the door to that deep-rooted understanding. Because we have to understand the selves within us that have a foothold in each of our facets. The selves that fight for us, love us, challenge us, bring us pleasure and joy. 

You and I are enough just like this: quiet, loud, taking up space, remaining small, full of fear or full of courage. Throwing our heads back as we laugh, standing alone at a party. Soft and hard, wise and foolish. Discovering. Growing. Writing and writing and writing.

Enough. Just as we are. All of the versions of us.

Watch the first episode of ‘The Wilds’ for free for a limited time on Prime Video’s YouTube.


Alison Malee is an accomplished poet, author, and actress. Read her book Shifting Bone here.

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