I feel like I can finally breathe. Knowing that I can pay my bills, that I have stability in my life – a kind and hot-as-can-be-OMG-he-looks-like-Justin-Timberlake husband, a fantastic community, even better friends, a strong family tie, a perfect apartment, and a pretty amazing life overall. I jokingly not-jokingly always say I’ve reached the point where I can self-actualize. And well, over the past couple of years, I’ve had the chance to do a bit of soul searching.
And while I find myself less cynical, less jaded, and overall more optimistic, my brain finds itself at odds with myself. If you didn’t know, every year, instead of a New Years resolution, I give my year a theme. A couple of years ago it was happiness, then gratitude – and this year, I’m going full fledged self-acceptance – something that has proven the hardest theme to conquer yet – and something I feel as though I will be working on for a long time.
The thing I struggle with? Finding myself beautiful. Accepting me for who I am. Finding beauty in my uniqueness. My Latina-ness. My multiracial…ness? The fact I’ve never met anyone who has remotely looked like me. I’ve never been mistaken for anyone else.
I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m just stating what I know many people are struggling with. And you know me – I just LOVE to talk about things that people do not talk about.
If you haven’t had a chance to read Rease’s I’m a Fit Chubby Girl and I’m Sick of People Telling Me I’m Unhealthy post, you’re missing out. She’s got it down. She is inspirational. If only I could think the way she does a quarter of my time.
It really starts wearing on you when you’ve had to deal with the following:
- Being called mustache girl.
- People not wanting to touch me because I have vitiligo. (I have tattoos to reclaim my skin.)
- Telling me I’m not Mexican enough.
- Telling me I’m not American enough.
- Teling me well, I’m definitely not white.
- I’m too fat. (Try shopping for clothes with my measurements.)
- My teeth are crooked.
- Being told that I’m lucky that I’m smart and have a great personality…
- Never having a drink bought for me.
- Having a beauty queen mother (and always feeling inadequate).
- Struggling with identity as I was a non-Catholic Mexican (oh the horror!).
- Not being the cute sibling (if you have one of those, you know what that implies).
- Struggling with my weight – eating clean, working out, and not getting thinner.
- Having an eating disorder.
But you know what? I’ve come a long way. Baby steps I make my way to a more personally accepted me.
While I do get down that I will never achieve the thin, lean Euro-centric body that I’m not genetically disposed to, I find pleasure in my muscular build. While I appear to intimidate anyone that would remotely find me attractive, I can’t help but cackle louder. While some people spend eons in the sun to achieve the “I want to look Mexican but not be Mexican” tan, I smile with my glowing brown skin.
- I swear.
- I’m tattooed.
- I’m unapologetic for who I am.
- I know that I’m worth my weight in gold for the good friend I am.
I don’t give two fucks that most brands didn’t want to work with me. My strong will and non-waify body will be able to climb rocks, go biking, lift weights, and be soft in all the right places instead of having a “beach ready body”.
Take it or leave it. I’ve had a rough start in my life but there is nowhere but up to go from here.
Also, Rease, you and I against the world, lady.