Sunday, October 25, 2015

Oh, the things I've done to be who I'm not.

Oh, the things I've done to be who I'm not.


Standing in front of my mirror for 1.5 hours so that I could press my beautiful curls between a 425 degree flat iron in an effort to somewhat resemble the straight hair of my Caucasian female peers.


Leaving Disneyland after only a few short hours to go sit in the hotel and read so that my skin wouldn't get "too" dark, because my ignorant ex told me super dark girls weren't attractive (bless his soul, please).

Ooo, or my personal favorite...

Awkwardly sitting sideways in the passenger seat of the car so that the cute guy taking me on a date wouldn't be able to see my side profile. Because if he saw my side profile, he would get a good look at my nose, which I was told looked like a bird nose. I've been embarrassed by it ever since.

Wait. No. THIS is my favorite.

Letting down my entire cheer team by skipping our weekly team weight lifting AND becoming a vegetarian so that I could diminish the muscular frame that I was BLESSED with because I was told I looked too "manly".

And what did I get for all of these desperate attempts to change how I looked?
Straight hair? Yes.
Lighter brown skin? Yup.
A new nose? unfortunately no...
Muscle loss? You betchya. *along with no energy and a slower metabolism #notwinning*

But what about happiness? Did I get that? I mean, that is what we are all going for, is it not? I know It's what I'm striving for. And it's what I thought I would get by going the extra mile (or 45 miles) to painstakingly change what I looked like. Because:


Well, after years of trying to manipulate my appearance to fit this formula, I'm relieved to report that the answer is actually no... I think. But don't take my word for it. I did spent the duration of my math classes talking to boys so equations aren't my strong suit. I'm Great at flirting though. like B+ (would have said A+ but I'm still not married so apparently I have room for improvement).

ANYWAY. Back to my point.

I've spent all this time and energy to try and look like someone other than what I actually look like in effort to find happiness and to become more comfortable in my own skin. But after pridefully trying this technique for far too long, I discovered that I have become MORE uncomfortable with who I am. I've grown increasingly self-conscious. I've become excessively aware of what I look like at all times, which has also made me unhealthily aware of what those around me look like (who do I think I am?? Judge Judy??).

Now, after straightening my hair so much that I severely damaged it, turning down pool party after pool party because heaven forbid my dark skin get darker, pretending to laugh so that I could casually cover my "Kobe Bryant"  nose (as one guy called it), quitting track and field because my thighs got too bulky, and living years foregoing a delicious ground beef patty to replace it with its not-nearly-as-tasty cousin--veggie patty--to deliberately atrophy my own muscle, it finally hit me like the bus that hits Regina George in Mean Girls:

Until I learn to love myself and be comfortable with my natural self, I'll be living subpar to true happiness and authenticity.

So I've decided to embrace myself by learning to love me. The real me. The curly-haired, sun-loving, dark-skinned, pointy-noised, muscular-framed, hamburger-eating me. As I fight to love this vessel that God sent me to Earth in, I'm discovering a kind of joy that I haven't felt since childhood, when happiness wasn't conflated with my image. The self-acceptance has been gradual not radical, and I still have some ground to cover, but it's happening, and I've never felt so empowered.


  • This weekend I enjoyed my first hamburger in over two years. It was so good that I almost thought maybe hamburgers=all the happiness you could ever need.  

  • This month marks two years since I've straightened my hair! I'm loving my curls more and move every day. Even when they have a mind of their own and refuse to do anything I want them to do. Which is every day.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thank you X5

Mom (also known as Mamba),

Thank you for always holding at least 3 jobs so that I never went without. You probably thought you were just providing for me financially, but you also taught me an amazing work ethic that will bless me for my entire life.

Thank you for caring for special needs individuals in our home for as long as I can remember. For you it was a job, for me it was a learning experience. I learned to see past differences and accept all kinds of people. 

Thank you for learning to forgive my dad and working hard to have a civil relationship with him—even after he broke your heart. And thank you for not pressuring me to hate him. It wasn’t (and still isn’t) easy for you, but it was the kindling that started my journey of forgiving him. Because of your example, I am able to have a relationship with my dad that I value, rather than one that causes me grief.  

Thank you for exposing me to the church even though you yourself did not want to be apart of it. I used to focus on your lack of activity in the church, however, now I’m just grateful that you encouraged me to be a part of it. You had me blessed and baptized. You always suggested that I go to church but never forced it upon me. And you’ve never tried to talk me out of being a part of it. I want to work on being as supportive of your beliefs as you are of mine.     

Lastly, I just want to say thank you for being patient with me. I know our relationship has been a source of pain for the last several years, but even after all the harsh words I’ve thrown at you and all the guilt trips I’ve given you tickets to, you’ve never deserted me. I’ve enjoyed the growth our relationship has undergone this past year and I cant wait to see it flourish even more. You are the definition of an amazing mother. 

I love you mostess, hostess, twinkies and cupcakes