Thoughts

Struggle

Erica and Shaun

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.

14 thoughts on “Struggle”

  1. You are awesome, Erica. Like you said, most of us struggle with similar things. I lost 30 pounds in 8-9 months last year, and I still look at myself and think, yep, still overweight. I never think of myself as truly pretty or attractive. I only have a brother, so I don’t have the “cute” sister thing, but I have often been the friend who was not the cute one. I know you’re not fishing for complements, but I do think you’re beautiful. I admire how ballsy you are. I love that you dye your hair weird colors, get piercings and tattoos, because you want to, and that you didn’t instead say to yourself, I can’t do that, what will people think? I worry what people will think of me all the time. Way too much. People I know, people I don’t know. It’s exhausting, but I can’t seem to shut it off. Self acceptance is probably something a lot of us (especially women) need to work on. It sounds like things are going really well for you in so many ways, so hopefully the rest will come too. HUGS!!

  2. I LOVE this post! I feel every ounce of emotion you have written, because I have pretty much felt the same way my whole life.

    I’m 5 foot nothing, I have boobs, tattoos, I ain’t skinny, I like to cuss, and I love tequila.

    On a weird side note, I read your blog post maybe like a year or so ago about your anniversary and you shared photos of you and your hubby, and there was one photo that my husband looked at and said ‘you and Erica look just alike here!’ So somewhere out there you do have someone who looks remotely like you (not trying to be creepy, just trying to relate). I think you are pretty cool ass lady who knows what she wants in life, has traveled the world, and can fend for herself. And that’s just the role model I like! You keep doing you, girl!

    1. EEEEEEEEeeee! I wrote this because I surely knew that I wasn’t the only one in the entire world who struggled. Where are our role models? Where are the women who look like us?

      But I’m glad I can have a potty mouthed tequila lovin’ buddy though. If you’re in Austin, PLEASE let me know and I will make Shaun drive us around on a whirlwind margarita tour of Austin.

      Thank you so much for being my cheerleader. I love looking “in the mirror”. I’m thrilled to be compared to someone as pretty as you are!

      Cheers!

      1. Wahoooo!!! I like the sounds of that! Two Latina women causing a riot, drinking up a storm and being incredibly fucking awesome, because we can!

        Same goes that if you ever find yourself in Milwaukee, I can show you all the hot spots for beers and wieners (you know, brats and stuff 😉 )

    1. Hey stranger! Much of this is why I had to get out of “the industry” – too much scrutiny and not feeling like I’m enough – but I’m slowly making progress.

      Thank you for your lovely words. They are so appreciated – especially coming from the amazingness that is you!

  3. What a great post. Thanks so much for sharing with us all…i just wanted to say that your smile is super contagious, and I smile myself everytime I see it fly by on FB or Twitter 🙂

    1. Aww! Thank you so much. I really appreciate comments like these (and I totally wasn’t compliment fishing!). I try to be my best and I’m glad a smile can brighten up someone’s day.

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