On Self Love

I came across a quote that perfectly sums up something I’ve always believed:

“Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish, it makes you indestructible.”

At the end of the day if you know who you are, nobody can convince you otherwise. From a very young age my parents raised me to be proud of who God made me to be. I grew up in all-white towns, all-white neighborhoods, all-white schools, so this was a vital lesson I needed in order to keep my true identity in tact. Apparently when I was really little I would come home saying things like, “Mommy, I wish I had white skin,” or “I hate that my nose is too broad.” When I got to the pre-teen years I wanted a hair relaxer which would make it nice and straight like my white classmates. My mom gave in and at 13 I started chemically straightening my hair. I just recently decided to go back to my natural curls and do the “big chop” at 19. I feel like that was the beginning of loving myself and knowing myself 100%.

I used to get anxious being alone in public places. I remember moving to Cincinnati my junior year of high school, leaving behind my best friends and all that I knew and grew to love in Champaign, Illinois. I came to Cincinnati knowing no one. I tried to keep my head down and just make it through my final two years without trying to start new friendships. I figured everyone already had their friends, and being the introvert that I am, it didn’t appeal to me to go around and disrupt that. I did end up running track, so I met the majority of my friends through that, but when I wasn’t around them, I’d walk to class with my heart thumping, my knees trembling, and feeling like everyone was staring at me. I literally had to repeat to myself to just breathe. It’s so weird for me to reflect on that now, because times have thankfully changed. I have college to thank for that.

When I began college I was eager to try everything, meet a lot of new people, and be social for once. I gained a lot of confidence, and by my second year (around the time I went natural) I started feeling comfortable doing things like eating in the dining hall by myself, going to events on campus alone, and even sitting outside under a tree doing homework. I no longer cared if people stared, I wasn’t thinking about what they were thinking of me… I became very secure in my skin. I wasn’t afraid to do things that would’ve scared me before. Like when I had a start-up idea and I went to an event where you could mingle and pitch your ideas to major investors. I created and handed out business cards, perfected my pitch, put on my sharpest blazer, and got the talking. At the end of that second year I started my styling business. Within the first month of announcing it, I already had 3 clients. There’s a lot of examples like that, where I just became fearless, and authentically me. Meanwhile, I developed an impenetrable layer around me. Not in a stand-offish kind of way, but more so in knowing me and being happy with me, I was able to feel good at the end of the day when things didn’t go as planned (ie. living in New York City, unpaid).

Most importantly, I know who I am in Him. He gives me so much strength. While my parents did an incredible job raising me to be who I am, I wouldn’t be even close to who I am without God. Nor will I be who I am meant to be without Him. I honestly feel invincible. My life isn’t perfect, it won’t ever be. I go through struggles just like everyone else, but there’s no better feeling than being able to go to sleep at night knowing I’ve got me. I am capable, powerful, soft, intelligent, strange, beautiful, and deserving. 

About This Look//

Choker Top: Shop Libby 
Pleated Dress: Shop Libby
Sneakers: Nike
Earrings: 7 Charming Sisters