Most of my life I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and feeling unwanted. Of all these things, the last one is what gets to me the most.
I don’t think there was one particular thing that made me feel that way. I think it was a combination of experiences, people, things that were said, and basically life that created this feeling. I remember thinking I was too skinny because I am of Tongan decent and I wasn’t as big as everyone else in my family. I remember being told my hair was too big and too crazy because I hated brushing it and it was just easier to leave it be. (Sometimes it’s better to leave the lion untamed.) I also remember being teased for being too smart. And I am not even that smart! I learn easily and retain information pretty well but that doesn’t make me smart. The sciences and math came to me easily. I obviously like to write. And school was just easy for me. I didn’t excel but because I didn’t “struggle”, I was dubbed too smart.
The problem was that there was this mold. This mold defined what the perfect Tongan/American/student/mom/wife/*insert title* was and I did not fit it. Actually I did not fit any of them. I STILL don’t even fit them. I’m as big as I’ve ever been and now people are telling me my butt is too big. Or I look too swollen in the face. I have literally changed every part of my BEING, and it still isn’t enough.
The mold looked a certain way, and even if I tried to mimic its shape… it’s shape would never be me.
So I’m writing this simply because I am in a bind, mentally. My head is trying to follow my heart but my heart is a little broken and so I’m trying to mend the wounds that are no longer bleeding, just a little tender. When you’ve been hounded all your life by so many you love it’s hard to hear your own voice. And so this is really just a love letter to myself. This is just a reminder that the mold doesn’t matter. It actually only exists in my mind because in all honestly… I made the mold.
I created this mold because people were telling me what I was by shining a light on a single part of who I am. Not me as a person, just one little detail that bothered them. Because let’s be honest… my hair is AMAZING. I love it. It’s crazy. It’s all over the place. It’s pretty much untamable. It’s diverse. It’s unique. It perfectly fits… ME.
Let’s also be honest… can there be such a thing as “too big” of a butt???? I mean if there is a perfect time to have a big butt… it’s NOW! So I might as well enjoy the ride and be grateful that it’s acceptable in society right now. It’s the “in” thing! And I’m totally ok with it.
The truth of the matter is… it didn’t matter what any one else said. My hair is never too big, unless you’re the person sitting behind me. My butt is never too big unless you’re my daughter and I accidentally hit you with it. I was never too skinny. I was never too smart. I was never too anything. I was simply me.
The “too” word came from THEIR standard of who they want me to be. It never actually exists. What exists is… what is. My hair just is. I just am. Life just IS. This word “too” sets the tone that there is a mold… and you are coming out of it. Like the mustard and mayo that oozes out of my favorite kind of burger… the “too” indicates that I am oozing out of this mold. And let’s be honest again… that makes people uncomfortable.
To see something that doesn’t fit your “norm” creates a dissonance it your harmony. The chord changes and you’re stuck trying to figure out how it fits. That’s basically what people were telling me. And my problem was… that I thought I, Heilala, was the problem. But like my awesome karate master says: whoever has the problem is the one with the problem. If you have a problem with my hair… that’s you’re problem. Like I said earlier, my hair isn’t too big… unless you’re sitting behind me.
My problem was that I thought I was a problem. I made myself believe that I was the problem at hand. But in reality, whoever told me I was “too” anything was the one with the problem.
And yes there were some times when I was probably too loud and too annoying and maybe my hair was too big for that wedding. (Lol funny story ask me about it later.) And I admit there are times when there is a standard and you need to follow it. Yes. There is a time and a place for everything. Yes. But to be told that I was “too something” because I was simply being me is unacceptable. Nope. Not today.
So today I’m reminding myself, and you, that we are wanted just as we are. We are totally acceptable. We are loved. We are wanted. We are needed in the world today just as we are. And as we learn and grow and become, we can eventually achieve our potential. But before we become anything, I think we just need to remember that we are completely acceptable as we are.
I truly mean it from the bottom of my heart.
You ARE LOVED.
You ARE WANTED.
You ARE NEEDED IN THIS WORLD TODAY.
And I hope YOU know it.
Cuz I sure do.
All my love,