Loving the Entirety of Me

Hate

Abhor, loathe, detest, despise

So many ways to put this feeling

And about three years ago that is all I felt in regards to myself.

I could think up a list of things I hated about myself,

Three times as long as one of things I liked about myself.

How I looked,

My incapability to stand up for myself,

My lack of intelligence,

My inability to meet expectations,

How I could never truly love myself.

I was called the ugly duckling,

Because I had the capabilities to be pretty but wasn’t actually able to be beautiful.

I was told to stay inside and not be in the sun,

Because it was apparently more important to stay fair and lovely

Than be proud of my own brown skin.

I was expected to excel in my studies while also being great at stereotypical housewife skills, Because how else would anyone want to marry a girl like me?

I always felt so stupid,

Because I was never able to live up to expectations,

And when I did I was told, “Oh, it must’ve not been that difficult or important then.”

I would have a hard time talking in front of many people or to people I didn’t know,

Thinking something must be wrong with me

Because I couldn’t present a speech without stuttering.

During all these times I hated myself

I spent so much of my youth wondering why I was the way I was.

Wondering why I couldn’t be better.

Wondering why I couldn’t be the perfect daughter or sister.

Not liking me for me,

But always wanting to be more.

I knew this was bad.

I grew up believing that you should never use the word "hate" nonchalantly.

So I always instead chose to say I "disliked" things or that I "didn’t appreciate" things.

Yet here I was feeling so much hate towards myself.

This was not okay

All these feelings kept simmering inside of me for years

Until my bubble couldn’t take it anymore and just burst.

Everyone around me who knew me as an optimistic happy soul,

Saw me break down and cry and cry and cry until my throat was raw.

If you thought this was the part where the people I wanted to be proud of me would understand,

It wasn’t.

I was told to stop being sad.

The reason why I stopped speaking at home must be my fault.

I was told to be happier.

I had to keep up the happy girl act, because what would the relatives think?

I couldn’t be a good wife to a nice brown family if I was depressed, so i was told to stop being sad.

I hated everything about me at this point.

I knew this was bad.

But I didn’t know how to stop it.

But I wanted to so badly.

I wanted to laugh from my heart.

I wanted to smile with my entire being.

I wanted to love my brown skin.

I wanted to look in the mirror and love how I looked.

I wanted to know I was intelligent.

I wanted to know that people would love me for me.

I wanted to know everything was going to be okay.

I wanted to know that I was worth it.

That I was enough.

And now, months later, I finally feel like I can do that.

It took so long, but I can finally smile so big my face hurts. I can laugh for hours on end.

I can get dressed look at myself in the mirror and think, “Damn I look good!”

I wear yellow any day, every day because it makes my brown skin glow.

I feel like the intelligent person I know I am everytime I answer a question right.

The girl I was when I was in high school wouldn’t believe that they would grow into the person I am today.

Three years ago I was someone who couldn’t stand themselves.

Now I am someone who loves me for me.

I still have days where I feel like nothing.

But that’s the road to progress.

What matters most is I finally feel like I am enough.

I feel worth it.

Not for anyone else, but for myself.

I finally feel like I can truly love the entirety of me.