I wasn’t born with the idea of being inferior. My first thoughts weren’t ones of shame or self depreciation. My soft-soled and hesitant feet padded on an earth filled with bodies that did not want me here. Unbeknownst to my naive toddler mind, I carried on with dreams of clouds and colors.

The insidious thoughts didn’t begin until I became aware of the world around me. I was thrust into a reality, I was not prepared for. I couldn’t ask my mother ,my grandmother for advice I didn’t know I needed. The world showed me what it thought of me, and instead of combating against the expectations placed on me, I conformed to them. Instead, my scalp was constantly burned and tortured by chemicals, whose sole purpose were to suppress my natural halo. Instead, I singed my coils and curls beneath scalding plates of metal in order to turn them into thin, damaged strands. A disappointing spectacle that paled in comparison to what it should have been. Self-hate became my reality. The only thing I understood, I lived and breathed it and I never understood why or where my deep-rooted issues originated from.

Now, a living,breathing, free thinking antithesis of my former self. I thrive in blinding sunlight, instead of brooding in the shadows. Perhaps it was a combination of aging, and increase in knowledge and a rapid change in mass media that allowed me to begin to see the truth. Look past the smoke, mirrors and lies that clouded my vision and fogged my mind.

With clear eyes and an even clearer mind, I now recognize the signs. The tendency of those to covet what I have, what I was born with, and hate me because they fail at attaining it. The anger that undoubtedly arises when I refuse to hate myself. The confusion that increases as I become more carefree. The discomfort that rises as my sisterhood becomes stronger, more powerful,more beautiful, more successful, knowledgeable.

Thriving, even as I stare adversity in the eye. I look at my former self with an eye of appreciation. Without years of pain and confusion , I never would have been able to rise to where I am now. I’m grateful for the dark years, the clouds around my perception and my knowledge.Without the darkness there was now way I  would ever have been able to realize who I am, or understand how to live in the light.


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