“You’re too dark”
“Are you ok? You look like you put on some weight!”
“You dress like a dude”
“You’re too tall”
“You need to workout”
“You’re too nice””You’re too sensitive””You’re not good enough””I’m tired of you””You’re a B*tch”I wish you were like my homegirls”
The statements that you see before you have been the statements made towards me throughout my life. From family members, those that I thought were friends, and those that I’ve dated. Though it may be surprising to some and for others they see it as just words. For me, these words at one point, had power. These words were said so often, I began to believe it and began taking them into my spirit. With that, low self-esteem, depression, disliking who I was, questioning who I was, and trying to be something I wasn’t to the point I was putting myself in toxic situations, came into play. I remember trying to starve myself and working out the point of passing out just to keep my shape in college because I was told I was starting to put on weight. I remember trying to keep up with the labels and fashions while letting bills fall behind just to impress people for I was worried what others might think or say. I remember giving ex lovers my time, attention, and money, making sure they were taken care over, although I received nothing in return. I remember saying sorry for things or taking the blame for something that I knew was not my fault, just to keep the peace and/or to be liked or accepted.
What is ironic about it all is at one time, I was mentoring young girls on how to have self love and self respect, yet I wasn’t doing that for myself. I would conduct discussions and activities along side my mentor focusing how to build self confidence and self worth, when at the time I couldn’t do that for myself. One thing I was very good at was masking my pain and what I was going through. Most days, I wouldn’t even look myself in the mirror because I didn’t like was I saw. I mainly wore black because that was how I saw things in my world. When in public, I always tried to be fun and bubbly but when I got home, I would cry or overthink everything that had transpired. There were times I was disappointed with myself for not being what others wanted me to be or I felt I didn’t meet expectations of what was made for me by others. See, what people said or thought, mattered to me. When it was negative, it set the wheels in motivation for a negative path and a negative way of thinking.
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s when came to the realization that those words, statements, and others like it had power because I gave it power. No one or nothing can have power over you unless you allow it. I had to learn to love the skin I’m in. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but all I knew is that I was tired. Tired of hurting, tired of trying to keep up, tired of hearing voices, doubts, and statements from others. I was willing to do what ever it took to get back to me and loving what I saw.
I took baby steps, started writing more. What ever was on my mind, good, bad, or indifferent, I began to write down. I started controlling my response to things. I may not be able to control others, but I can control actions. I began to think before reacting, because as humans, when tend to react as soon as something is stated or done and a lot of times we don’t think things through. Bottom line, I was taking my power back and following the “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” motto.
Today, with me finally loving who I am and who I have become, doesn’t mean just my physical, its all of me. Me, myself, and I have a understanding of one another and we have a bond that can never be diminished or broken. No longer will I be put in somebody else’s box or be labeled as if I’m going to be categorized to fit some type of group or mold. I may not meet the so called expectations of others but I exceed my own.
I love my sense of humor, I love my drive, I love the way I love life and the people who are in it. I love that I was able to overcome obstacles and still stand with my head held high. I love my creativity and ideas no matter how big or small they might be. I love my sense of adventure and how I have learned to enjoy life more. I love that I don’t take myself too serious and I can still laugh at myself from time to time. I love that I am not afraid of the unknown and still working on being better for me. I love my skin, my hair, my size, my features because it is what makes me unique. I love the skin I’m in, others just need to deal with it.