Featuring Dani

So I guess it’s time for me to write my story.  Ever since I can remember I would always question the way that I looked.  I think for me the biggest change had to be when I first came to live in the US.  Being the only spanish kid in my grade for a very long time, I realized then I was different.  Not that my parents didn’t make it any easier sending empanadas to school for my, “almuerzo.”  I would get, “ay mija why didn’t you eat your empanada today?”    Or the, “I know that you are learning English in school, but here in the house you can only speak Spanish.”

At times I would look at my peers and wonder how I could convince my mom that peanut butter and jelly was not something that was just a small snack.  And that I really shouldn’t be eating  fried brains for dinner!   As time went on, the awkwardness became something of the norm for me.  I was the tallest in my class including the boys, and was the first one to officially wear a bra.  It was devastated!  On top of all those differences that were in front of me, I was and still am one of the clumsiest people that you will ever meet.  Ouch is pretty much a daily word in my world, so much so that my kids hardly even ask anymore if I’m alright.

The list can go on and on with insecure moments in my youth and for the most part of my adult life. From not feeling pretty enough, or smart enough, or even seen enough.  I worried that I wasn’t doing it right.  That I was disappointing someone. That if I was just a bit more organized, or a bit more fit, or if my nose was just a bit smaller that everything would be perfect.  But what is perfection? If not the illusion in which we are feed constantly through the media, through our thoughts, through our perceptions.

I came to understand through all of the self doubting and through some hard lessons that I’ve had to go through, I am beautiful!

So how did I come to understand that I am beautiful?  I understood that I was just me.  I learned to love the “flaws”  that makes me who I am.  I understood that loving all  of the little aspects of myself lets me see not only myself as the woman I am, but also to see everyone as they are.  Loving myself has made me love others in such a deeper and more connected way.

I’m not going to write here that I don’t have days in which some thoughts creep up.  But I am going to say that by allowing myself to just be who I am it makes it easier to let go of those thoughts.  To let go of the idea of what I thought was perfection.

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