In The Middle…Love YOU for YOU

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illustration by Jon Sirotniak

Unlike Jay-Z, I got 99 problems and a girl is just one. I can say in confidence that I may not be the most attractive guy around but I’ve got personal qualities that tend to work for me. Unfortunately, you have to get to know me before you get a chance to see these qualities. I’m not the only one in this situation. Being stuck in the middle is exactly where a lot of people are... but you just gotta love you for you

You may not be hideous, but you aren’t exactly winning any beauty contest. People who are ugly (not as attractive) are somewhat lucky. I say this because they know where they stand on the social ladder whereas people like me are led to believe that if we worked a little harder then we could finally be one of the beautiful people. This never works out because no matter how hard you try with the surgeries and makeup, your goal will always be just out of reach.

I wore glasses once upon a time ago until this girl said I’d look better without glasses, so I ditched them and got me some contacts. Now so many people tell me that I should’ve kept my glasses. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a bit vain and superficial. I’m always working harder to improve my physical qualities while my inner ones start to lack.

Before all I wanted is a “Badd joint,” the type that would make all the fellas jealous when I step through with her, but now I’ll just take anyone who can keep my interest and who’s company I enjoy. I just wish that dating wasn’t so hard or maybe I make it harder than it needs to be. I’m not a playa and my “game” is lacking something fierce, so I try to just be me and hope that they’ll accept me for who I am and what I can be. As far as the ladies go, I do okay. I’m not pulling them in the busloads, but then again I’ve never really wanted to be that type of guy.

I could sit around and bitch about how I’m not as handsome as some other guys or I can take what I do have and make it work for me. If you’re like me, I know it’s hard but we’ve gotta start doing for ourselves what others cannot. Every morning when you get up and you get a chance I want you to look yourself in the mirror and say ‘I love myself today, more than yesterday and as times goes, like fine wine I’ll just keep improving.” I know it looks and sounds corny, but actually self-encouragement is effective. Just know that you aren’t perfect (no one is) but you’ll keep working harder and harder until you’re satisfied. You don’t need to be vain or have a lot of material goods; all you really need is you. If no one else tells you this: I love you just the way you are.


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Adrian "A.D." Dubard
Born in Washington DC, Adrian was placed in the care of his maternal grandparents after his mother died when he was a baby. For the most part of his life, Adrian’s biological father was absent from his life. Growing up with a house full of cousins, aunts and uncles, Adrian began his love of writing to document his surroundings. Attending a private school for 9 ½ years, it was there that many influential teachers help strengthen his love of writing via English and creative writing classes. Even though, Adrian loved to write he was reserved about what he wrote about. Leaving DC at the age of 7, Adrian and his family moved to Temple Hills, Maryland in Prince George’s not too far from where he had lived previously. Luckily, Adrian had taken part in many youth outreach programs as a youth that allowed him to travel and see the country, many kids he knew around his own age hadn’t even left the city. These experiences opened his eyes to other cultures and ways of living. As a teenager, Adrian had many friends who passed away before their time but he promised to keep writing to honor their memory. Other than writing, Adrian has helped various charities rise by going on public speaking tours. Some of these charities include The Safe Haven Project and The Journey of Hope. He has contributed to several book projects and currently resides in Queens, NY. Read more articles by Adrian.