Not Fair to Compare

"Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else." - Margaret Mead

One of the most remarkable revelations I've ever received, was discovering just how useless comparing myself to others is.  Unfortunately, I struggled with this misconception for more years that I care to admit. 

It started around high school when I slowly began unjustly judging myself on a great number of things.  Whether it was my athletic prowess in gym class, my popularity among the student body, or my academic performance, I would regularly measure myself against the talent, charisma, and intellect of others.

This tendency lamentably lingered on into my young adulthood, where I put away my childish judgement ruler and began scrutinizing my strengths and weaknesses using a much bigger, more adult yardstick.  

I graduated to comparing job titles, income, vehicle make and models, and other worldly possessions as my perceived basic standards of success.

Too Hard on Yourself

"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Franklin Roosevelt

My tendency to compare may have worked in my favor had I used it as a motivational tool for personal growth.  Instead it became a source of pain because I took the strengths of others and compared them to my weaknesses, so it seemed to me as if I was failing.

This sort of self-criticism obviously doesn't feel good!

Self-judgement is often at the root of our pain.  We judge ourselves harshly, we judge our past, present, and future experiences, and we even judge our feelings.

From my limited and shortsighted perspective, everyone seemed to be doing better than me, as I hadn’t yet learned how to:

  • Create my own standards for success

  • Choose my own path of fulfillment

  • Set goals that were authentic and not superficial

As a result, I felt as if I were constantly marinating in a stew of disappointment, frustration, discouragement, anger, and anxiety.

The Consequence is Low Self-Confidence

"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle or your middle to someone else's end." - Tim Hiller

When we compare ourselves, our self-esteem takes a major hit - This could cause us to stop pursuing our goals and dreams before we even really get going.


For example, when I first began writing picture books, I would often compare myself to other authors.  However, I made the mistake of measuring my efforts against writers who had been in the game for years - writers who had paid their dues behind the scenes and were justifiability being rewarded the fruits of their labor.  They were experiencing a level of success that took them sometimes years to gain, yet I wished to be decorated with those same accolades right out of the gate.

Was it fair to compare my beginning effort to someone else's middle effort?

Instead, of comparing, I learned to focus on my strengths - writing honest, substantive stories that have meaning for me; knowing that with some effort and patience, I would manifest what success looked like for me!

You Do You, I'll Do Me

"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

It's so cool that we have the ability to acknowledge the fact that so many people have a variety of talents - and when those people let their talent shine, we can all benefit from that.  However, we should try spending a little more time focusing on our own talents and strengths instead of the strengths of others.  We will be of greater service to ourselves and those whose lives we touch by developing a true awareness of our own value and self-worth.

How do we go about learning what our value is? Here's a link to The Seven Signs You Know Your Value.

Develop Resilience

"To love is to stop comparing." - Bernard Grasset

So how do we stop squandering our happiness and get out of the comparison trap?

Be aware.  We've been comparing ourselves to others for so long that it has become a bad habit.  Like other bad habits, we must first admit that we have a problem to become more conscious.  Becoming aware of the thoughts that are going through our minds helps us to identify who or what triggers our envious thoughts.  Be mindful of the fact that these thoughts add no value to our lives and STOP!

Pause.  Remember that these are real emotions that may show up every day, or even moment to moment.  Putting them in their proper place will take time and practice.  Don't beat yourself up! Acknowledge the thought and then shift focus.

Be grateful. Shift your focus back to yourself and what you’ve already been blessed with.  Count what you have and look forward to the things you plan to gain by focusing on following your unique path.

Have hope.  To compare as a source of motivation is one thing, but to "covet" is not cool! Do you admire these people, or do you want what they have?  Let's be real, you will never have exactly what they have.  It may look similar, but it will always be different.  Embrace that fact.  You can use people as motivation because they inspire you, but when you just want their "stuff" then you've entered into unhealthy territory.

The only person you should be better than, is who you were yesterday.

Remember that they are just people too, and if they can do great things, so can you.  

Don't fall for the okey-doke by allowing other people's successes to make you feel a sense of lack.  Flip the script and use comparisons as motivation to become a better person so that maybe you can use that energy to increase the joy in your own little corner of the world.





Altered View


  You may cry over the broken bones and the lost lives.

You may feel anger towards those whom steal.

But if you can love the creatures that roam upon the earth,

love the warm arms that held you close.

If you can feel complete tranquility of the first snow fall of winter.

If you love the sight of dust particles floating in the ray of sun.

If you smile at the person in the mirror.

If you feel a sense of peace when the birds sing into your ears.

If you feel whole when your bare feet meet the earth.

If you are amazed by the breath you can see when the frost has covered the grass.

If you feel overwhelming gratitude towards your being and all of which surrounds you,

you are the happiest you could ever be.

There is not a cent more that you need to weigh you down because happiness begins when realization meets simplicity and the eyes no longer view dollar signs as value,

but rather valuing each moment makes you the wealthiest person alive.

Making Peace With The Inconsistency of The Path


One of the reasons I’ve been reluctant to share my work publicly is that nauseous feeling that takes over me when I look back at what I created, wrote or drew few years, few months or even few weeks ago.

It is something I noticed very long time ago, when I’d flip a few pages of my diary and feel like there was a completely different person logging in only a few days before. Needless to say, nobody was actually stealing my diary and pouring their deepest secrets on its dotted lines, but at times it’d almost seem so. My handwriting would change, the style in which I would write, the vocabulary I’d used - which are all pretty normal and temporary things that can change in short time-spans - but the aspect that horrified me the most was the essence of the human behind my scribblings, the opinions, feelings, approaches and mind-states which were transforming all so damn fast and abruptly that at some point I started to doubt all of my thoughts and opinions, asking if I’d be ashamed of them in a few weeks, just like now I am ashamed of what was standing in their place some ten days ago?

Horrified by these fast-paced changes in my creative expression and shame and disgust I’d feel when looking at my earlier work, be it writings, poetry, paintings, drawings or photography - I was postponing sharing them with others, even just with my friends on Instagram. On the other hand, I wanted to do it so badly. I’d be seeing other artists and creative souls sharing their work online and would feel so attracted to do the same, but there was that underlying fear of looking back and being ashamed of my work. I had been promising myself that I’d do it when I get just a tiny bit better, when my English improves, or when my paintings look a bit more “presentable”, whatever the fuck it means.

Time passed and nothing changed. My perfectionist side kept sabotaging me and preventing me from sharing my art with others and once I got aware of it - of the pattern that has been repeating on and on for years, I just decided to do it as I realized that I’d never be completely satisfied with anything I create or write and therefore there’ll never be the perfect moment to take the leap of faith and put myself and my work out there.

I got over my pride, told my fear to take the back seat and started to put some of my drawings and paintings on Instagram. When it stopped being scary and nerve-wrecking, I took it a step further and started sharing even the stuff I thought bad and shitty for the sole purpose of putting myself in the midst of discomfort and getting rid of the pressure that every single thing I create should be good. If I allowed myself to create stuff I wasn’t necessarily proud of and started to see it as a part of journey, step stones on the path of creative evolvement, it’d suddenly all become less important and I could focus just on that - growth, evolution, learning - instead of dwelling on previous work that didn’t meet the impossibly high standards that I tend to set for myself.

That step opened the gates to new creative freedom that I didn’t even know existed! Once liberated of the pressure to always create something “perfect”, my creative juices started to overflow and my production increased immensely! I rarely look back on my previous work and if I do so, it is only to see how much progress I made and not anymore to beat myself up for the lack of skills that I notice in my earlier works. The funny thing, also, is that some of my artwork that I really didn’t like from the beginning received the most praise and positive feedback while paintings I was stoked about and proud of sometimes received very average feedback. What does it mean? Absolutely nothing!

I want you to start creating more and do it for the mere joy that comes through the process. Share your creative magic with others and let it touch their souls - and, most importantly, don’t judge your work and keep it for yourself until it reaches ‘perfection”, you never know what can resonate with whom! Maybe exactly that poem you are ashamed of sharing is what someone needs to hear in this very moment - we never know what can ease someone’s pain or bring some light and hope to their day.

Love you all and stay creative,




Love. Can't Be More Simple.

What is art?

It is love in different forms.

But where?

In every tone, word and color... love appears. If you can feel it, it exists. If you cannot feel it, it still exists.


Because love is the main part of everything. It is the start of endless life, energy, magic.

How to find it?

Look around you, look into yourself. Love is there and everywhere. Don't close your heart. Be aware of what you truly are.

You are love.


She Feeds Herself With The Stars

Her heart is seeking

Her lips are thirsty

her hair a tidy mess

she feeds herself

with every word

every smile

every embrace

of each person she meets

sharing a story

every stolen moment

adds a seed to her mind

and a little bit

of magic in her hands.

She feeds herself with the stars

comfortably wandering

in the endless night sky

And the faces of those

gone for other purpose

who left this Earth in peace

in the midst of the day

where only dust remains

but contains a promise.


We Will Thrive.

It’s so dark without you here.

Why did you leave me when I needed you most?

Why did you leave when you heard what they said?

Why did you leave when you saw them pointing and snickering?

Weren’t you supposed to stay then more than ever?

Wasn’t that the time you were meant to support me?

How did this happen?

It’s so dark without you with me.

It’s lonely without you.

It’s scary when all I hear is their laughter and ridicule.

You were so confident when they were not around.

When it was just you and me, it was beautiful and bright.

We shared joy and love in all moments.

We had it so good, why do you keep leaving?

Where are you?

Are you coming back?

Are you coming back to silence them?

Or am I meant to find you?

Do I have to move from this dark place?

I don’t know how, or where to go!

You used to guide me when I asked these question in the light.

Please come back to me...please!

Their ridicule is getting louder now. Why are you silent?


*breathe* *breathe* *breathe*



...wait, I remember something…

...I remember something you said…

You told me that you will always be there for me.

That you will never leave me and that you will always support me...always!

So what happened?! Was it me?

It is me! I made this happen!

I have allowed their voices to get louder...louder than yours.

Their ridicule is only their doubt.

Their doubt is only their fear.

It’s not even about me.

They are merely projecting.


I’m sorry for doubting your faithfulness…

You did always have my back!

It was me who blocked the light, me who stopped listening.

Me who allowed their voices to fill the space between you and I.

This needs to stop.

I need to be so close to you that your voice is the only one I hear.

I will latch onto you so strong that darkness doesn’t get a chance to creep in.

We will reunite and never split; with our vision back on our future and on what’s good for us,

We will thrive.

We. Will. Thrive.


Ambition, I love you.


More in Self-Love:

Prioritizing Positivity Not Perfection

“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.”  - Jiddu Krishnamurti

Upon finding an article where Mila Kunis stated that it's 'bizarre how everyone has the same facial features now', I related to her sentiments in a sad way. The truth is there always have been certain trends within the make-up/beauty world. But when I look around the world at the moment, it seems to be less about enhancing your own already beautiful features, but about instead changing them entirely. It's dismal seeing an army of people unaccepting of their own beauty and favouring to alter their features.

As a young woman, who wants to live a free and fulfilling life to the best of my abilities, I've begun to navigate what are the necessities to my happiness. Our exterior bodies are beautiful creations, but it’s our words and actions that can touch peoples lives. We should prioritize what we do, and not how we look. What feeds the soul is love, friendships, passion, peace and following your dreams. I do realise that make-up and hair are incredible art forms and there are many artists I admire in those areas. Although indulging in enhancing our best features through make-up and being creative is an important part of a lot of peoples lives, we should be making sure we don’t place too much worth on this.

A recent movement by Jameela Jamil, 'I Weigh' shone a light on how there are so many more important things than our looks; personal growth, recovery progress, friends, family and just having fun and adventuring. The instagram page was born out of a concern for the issues around self esteem problems. Combating a culture that would rather see women worry about their weight rather than flourishing in their talents.

“Every minute we spend thinking about how thin and gorgeous and perfect we aren’t, is a moment that we aren’t thinking about growing our business or our education, or our family or the fun in our lives.”

I once did focus and put a lot of pressure on the way I looked when I was younger. This lead to me edging away from my true self, trying to look like who I thought was beautiful, rather than realising I was beautiful. Instead of having a healthy, loving, accepting view of myself, it was an unhappy egotistical energy that held me back.

In our superficial society we are often told that our likeability is determined by our looks. This leads to self esteem issues and a never ending cycle of trying to reach an unrealistic goal among many young people. I’ve found I’ve almost had to unlearn the lies that have filtered through modern media and into my brain. I understand photo-shopping, light, make-up and how much work and effort can go into making people look a certain way for just one photo. Therefore now I can fairly judge myself and others, and not make unfair comparisons to the fake beauty standards of Victoria's Secret and celeb selfies.

Being comfortable in your own skin may be a slow process but it’s so rewarding. It may be a bit of a battle but you have to remember there's a lot of money in the business of making you feel bad about your body. You've got to fight the urge to judge yourself too harshly. When you begin to realise the world doesn’t fall apart when it sees you in your natural form, you’ll have more clarity and confidence within yourself. Maybe you'll even feel a better connection with the world, as nothing in nature apologises for the way it looks, it just lives.

If you focus inwards, you can see where your true self thrives. When you're truly happy in your skin, you won't need to hide it or change it. The more we connect with our souls and less with our eyes, the more we can make genuine connections with people and grow within ourselves. Rather than when we put all our energy into our exterior looks, consuming and worrying about things that make us look like the current version of attractiveness. We're focusing on something other than what serves our soul, our dreams, ambitions or the people around us.

I am in no way saying make up is a negative thing in itself, wear as little or as much as you prefer to. It's a fabulous art form, and you can create all sort of funky looks. Just don't use it to hide yourself. Don't fall into the trap of the cult of perfection. Focusing so harshly on your exterior is a waste of your time. Time that could’ve been used on enjoying your life and feeding your soul with magical experiences.


More in Self-Love:

Easter Encouragement.

It’s springtime which means new life, fresh starts, and the sunshine blooming through (hopefully). It means forgiveness of others and ourselves. New birth symbolising letting go and looking forward.

Growth is always happening through challenges and changes in our lives, and through the really amazing parts too. We may learn to accept the past, be growing into ourselves, or growing with someone we love.

I hope you are all looking back this weekend and see how far you have come. If you feel like you’ve hit a wall – remember where you started. Inspiration can occur at any moment, so remember to keep your eyes peeled and your mind eager. If there’s something you’ve been putting off – start it! If there’s a million ideas running around your head – write them down!

Take some time to think about where you are in your life, where you want to be and how you can get there. Reach out to the people around you and ask for help.

“An optimist is the human personification of Spring” – Susan J.


So as the sun breaks through try to think more positively of yourself and what you could achieve.

Also, I hope you all eat some Easter treats and spend some time with special peeps.


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Within every one of us 

Lies a divine feminine

Dormant from lack of attention

Locked away into the deepest part of our souls

Cast away in favor of false perfection

Our instinctual wildness publicly shunned

We have abandoned her

But yet, she rises slowly

As not to disturb

Creeping back into our souls

Broken chains dangling behind her

Her gentle voice 

Breathes life into our souls

Lights fire in our eyes

Heals our broken hearts

Courageously she stands unabashed

Restoring our lost souls to their true glory

Welcome back to the wild, my sister 


More in Self-Love:


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ever since I can remember, I have based my value on marks, on grades, on percentages

on sheets of white paper with black, standardized text, asking standardized questions 

questions that mould intelligence, creativity, individuality of a beautiful child’s mind into a numerical value

a score out of 100

a red-biro fraction in a red-biro circle inked in the top right-hand corner.

that ink seeps into my skin, is etched into my soul; carving out what it means to be liked, to be successful, to be worthy,

worthy of love

worthy of being far, far away from that fear of failure and all that we are told comes with it;

worthy of holidays, of a nice house, of presents at christmas

things us children are told come hand-in-hand with ‘financial security’, with ‘a stable career’

with money

with happiness.


but now I am not a child, and I know that this simple equation is not all it seems

although I will never forget that my one ‘B’ grade in an ocean of sparkling ‘A’s’ was in maths

I still can believe my less than satisfactory brain when I think

that this mathematical equation is one that is,

in fact,


a subtracted mark from that all important score

a mark I would agonize over; would question teachers about 

never feeling satisfied

never feeling proud

never feeling quite good enough.


and as a girl becomes a woman

it is too easy to fall into into another trap society has set 

placing self-worth on the external 

placing self-worth on our image or on our ‘health’

where in reality as our physical health maybe momentarily increases

our mental health steadily dwindles.

there was a day when i looked into the mirror to see the progress of my teeth growing in 

not the progress of my ‘abs’ as a marker of my ‘fitness’

a day when we were told our ‘bottoms were a seat’ and not a marker of attractiveness

of admiration

of envy

a day when we did not know beauty was linked to an image of a ‘perfect’ female form.


the word anxiety creeps its way through an innocent child’s skin

red ink, swirling, into my bloodstream

and settling

deep in my stomach

wrapping one arm around the space that once, I trusted 

a space that so effortlessly nourished and cared for me

and the other arm around my mind

it’s fingers skillfully placing a tint over my eyes


making me see life through glasses of fear

of hate

of insecurity 

before closing it’s arms together, in a toxic embrace

forming a link between my worth and what I choose to enter this area of my body

or what I choose not to

creating irrational fears that see-saw from being so obsessed with health

wanting to improve

wanting to be better

to not feeling worthy of the money that nourishment costs

hidden behind the frugality of a loan-dependent student 

to not feeling worthy of nourishment unless, maybe, if following certain rules

because following rules is a perfectly measured recipe that bakes a sugar-free, fat-free cake of success


a see-saw between the achievement of being so clean, so pure

and the achievement of being empty and thriving

a see-saw between the fear of never reaching my best self

and the feeling 

of not having one


because if even if that red ink writes 100/100 

like it has on occasion for now-trivial past achievements


even if i rebuild my outer shell that has shrunken in the laundry

as my self-esteem was washed away with the suds of perceived ’imperfection’


even if what i see in the mirror does finally satisfy me, even with a number on the scale that does not inflict worry or concern


even if the red ink completes that circle

once again encompassing my worth and compacting it into the top right hand corner of a piece of paper i’ll never see again


would I then be freed from this never-ending cycle that society has created?

these expectations, ideals


the fears that almost are ingrained into our genetic makeup


the circle of the grade

the circle of the percentage

the circle of my stomach

the circles of my eyes

the circulating thoughts in my mind


maybe then

I would feel

good enough.






- Alexandra Murray-Reynolds (@thehippychickpea)

find more at








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More Poetry:

learning to dance with yourself

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the leaves tilt to the melodies of the sun

but i'm numb, and blind. 

i can only hear them whisper 

but my soul doesn't speak the same language

so i stand still. in a noisy silence that i want to escape.

it is then, when i am about to run away, that the first flower blooms.

in my black and white mind, hues of pink and blue wake up 

as the first petals start to whine like newborns. 

the blindness becomes shades

the shades become light

and the light caresses my skin as i start to feel 

the life of the flower invade the life within me.

and it is then, when i am about to give in to the beauty of the colours

that the second flower starts to bloom.

and this flower is red.

and this flower is blooming from my heart.

from my soul. 

and it is now, that, alive, i can understand the whispers of the leaves.

they sing beautiful songs to the melodies of the sea.

now that i understand the music, my petals dance a waltz with the sun. 

and let me tell you, 

the world has never been so happy. 

More in Self-Love:

Love Yourself and You'll Never Be Lonely

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Loneliness is that secret emotion that everyone feels but nobody talks about.

Loneliness is that demon whispering in your ear that the world is superior to you.

It’s that voice that says, you might as well give up now.

That voice telling you that you aren’t good enough.

Making you feel as if your life is tainted with failure and deficiency.

And why would you seek out attainment when this cold world has convinced you of your inability to be tenacious?

Because this world is wrong and full of it’s own insecurities. And what is better than proving that someone is inaccurate about the harmful thing’s they have said about you?

You’ve got to wake up on Monday morning and decide it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

You’ve got to stand outside in the cold and resolve your issues with the chilling winter. Appreciate how the icicles glisten off the roofs of the houses or how the untouched snow is like a beautiful white comforter over the earth.

You’ve got to forgive that person who hurt you almost a year ago and realize we’re all on a journey.

Take a whole day to do absolutely nothing, pull out those video games you played with your big brother when you were 7, before innocence was snatched from your puny fingertips.

Wake up at 6 am for no reason just to call your mom before the day has started to tell her you love her.

Most importantly, fall in love with yourself. Take yourself places you’ve never been and get to know yourself. Find the little things that make your heart skip, like the colors of all the trees before they relinquish life before winter, reminding you that all things change.

Tell corny jokes you made up yourself and then learn to laugh at them, even when no one else does.

Some days you won’t be okay, and sometimes you’ll need to cry. That’s okay. You put your favorite sad song on lock yourself in your room and you let the tears fall. But don’t stop loving yourself.

If you get to know yourself, if you climb into your heart and find out all the little things that make it tick, then you can never be lonely. You will have beaten all the torn souls trying to rip you apart, and then it’s all worth it.

Love yourself.


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More Poetry:


Coming out

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Her dress was deep green and soft,  

Matching the color of her heart.

Her feet were bare,

gently connecting to the earth.


She was coming out of hiding and every person who looked into her eyes could tell she spent time alone.

Alone with herself, the winter wind and the barren trees.

She had learned the sound of her breath and fell in love with life.

For the first time she saw herself for who she was.

And this was her magic, her gift to the world. 



More in Self-Love:

"child of the moon" a poem

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child of the moon


you ought to have some idea just how much you gleam -

you call to make yourself look like home

finding comfort within 

devotion running deep


it is in your nature to nurture, moon child, this i know

security oozing from your soul

but just as the river 

you must continue to flow


you feel as immersed as your element allows

high tides and low crashes onto shore -

eventually settling down 

yet waiting to endure more


guided by your own heart 

you set goals with compassion at your core -

but when it is time to realign 

it is the moon you look towards

More Poetry:



Uniqueness given but too insecure to discover it.

You are inferior, they said. Alone. Not enough.

My tries to adjust failed bitterly, my opinions tossed by winds and waves.

The illusion of earning my affection through meeting others expectations crushed me.

The voices became louder.

Pulling back from my outer world, trying to create a perfect one in my mind, didn't work.

All I felt was a crazy mess in my inside, growing bigger while my attempts to fight my way out of it failed.

All of it changed with a small whisper.

And as soon as I started listening, it became louder.

Louder than all the other voices. Louder than my own insecurities. With a mighty roar it silenced my storm.

One word and it was done.

Then gently and loving, it began to tell me who I really was, who I really am.





Uniquely created to represent the One who created me.

My thoughts began to untangle, my heart to heal. Slowly discovering the world inside of me through the eyes of the Artist.

My true self is what I found.

My true self is what I find.

The start of a lifelong journey.

I fell in love with it.

He has started and we will continue.

More in Self-Love:


MY Body is my Home. But I AM NOT THIS BODY. 



I am not this body. 

I am so much more. 

And so.. Are You! 


When I was in Corsica, I took some major steps towards all of the realizations I am going to talk about now. 

I realised.. I am not this body. 

My, and your, body is the home of a soul. 

It is the vehicle for you to wander through  this life. 

It is the magical tool to let your soul experience smells, sounds, colours, touches etc.. 

But you are not your body. 

I say it again.. YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE.


It is nearly sad how it took me 20 years to start honestly freeing myself from the thinking that I am this skin. 

That my face is me. That all that matters and that  I have got on this planet are these forms and physicalities. 

Wow.. and then I realized how wrong I was. 

My body is the temple of my soul. And so are yours. 

Inside this magically functioning cave of small particles, wich  perfectly found together, sits this endless and glowing soul which cant be defined by labels. 


Our focus is so manipulated by too many things. Our brain is so twisted and focused on the things we can see but… Do you really only want to be this body, when you can be so much more? 

Do I want to be only this body ? 


When I  started realizing that ME is not what I can see in the mirror. That my worth has nothing to do with my weight. That my beauty is not measurable by societies standarts. 

I am the light inside my soul, the small sparkles the universe gave to me. 

My worth is not countable, because it is unquestionable. 

I am beautiful, because I decide to be. 

And then…. The second you realize.. pressure drops from your shoulders and your prison not longer holds you back. 


For way too long I suppressed my inner light. I was so caught up in „serving" only this physical image and only pushing more and more and more to somehow maintain what I thought defined my worth. 

I caged this beautiful little girl inside myself in a dark place. There was no space for weakness. 

There was no space for diversity. 

There was no energy for creativity. 

There was no room to test who I want to be. I did so much harm on my soul. I didn’t realize how my eyes weren't shining and all this LOVE I carry in my heart couldn't find its way in this world, because I was too obsessed curving and shaping my body into these unrealistic shapes and states. 

I nearly sacrificed my health. (to be specific I completely messed up my digestive system and I lost my period for over two years)

I knew something was wrong. I knew this wasn't right and this wasn't sustainable. But I was too scared to chose my health, to chose healing and giving my body what it needed.

Why? Because I really believed that this body is me. I truly believed in what society tells us day by day. 

That all we have to offer to this world is only this little of a body. I lost (and lose) myself in what society tells us everyday, I get caught up in glittering worlds of social media. But all of that is not real. It is not real. I was wrong.  

Ooh GIRL. I was wrong.. 

Now when I started to chose…..

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to unabashedly love myself through it all

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It seems as though it is the general consensus that 2017 was a year of immense growth coupled with incredible suffering; for me it was no different. During the first half I decided to wear only my natural hair instead of various forms of extensions/braided hairstyles, until I came to a point where I found myself wholly acknowledging my own beauty, accepting my little afro. It was hard, but I overcame…

It’s funny to me, how when it seems as though we are victorious, there comes one “last” giant test to win the battle, or “level up” in this journey of life. For me, it came in the form of Celiac Disease, where my scalp began to react to certain shampoos and I would scratch/pick at my hair. Couple that with an excessive amount of stress and you have yourself a recipe for trichotillomania, at least in my case. I have, for as long as I can remember, sporadically picked at my eyebrows, only to realize this happened when I looked and one eyebrow was barren at the top in comparison to the other. Once I noticed this, after looking down countless times at my shirt to notice it covered in hair and my partner encouraging me to get my fingers away from my scalp, I installed dreadlocks in hopes that when I got them out I would no longer subconsciously pick.

... However, right after I installed these dreadlocks - in hopes that I could cover my tracks out of a bad habit - I noticed again, countless times a day, hair on my shirt - a reminder to keep my fingers away from my hair.

Nothing had changed.

My mindset hadn’t changed.

Until finally, the dust had settled from 2017 and I knew I had the mental fortitude/time. Because let's be real y’all, mental health is everything, but time heals all. I decided I was no longer going to consciously feed my anxiety. I would have more time now that I had graduated and the universe had given me more time to breathe. My soul, however, needed to recharge I needed to have healthy hair again, and not subconsciously pick. I toyed with the idea of dreadlocks again (fauxlock really), because c'mon I looked GOOD. But my soul needed more than that, it needed a boost.

I found this decision I was playing around with in my mind to be a shadow of who I fought to no longer be, someone who depended on longer hair to feel feminine, to feel beautiful. Although my intentions were fueled by love there was also a lot of anxiety and fear in there, because my hair was in bad shape. But my health was more important, and I was putting it in jeopardy. So, I decided to shave my hair. I didn’t make a big fuss about it. I just told Stephen, the day before we went, that it was something I intended to do and something I was sure about. I also texted a few friends who I knew I would see the following day that, saying that this was something I was going to do, to keep me accountable. And let me tell you…

I feel the same, by the same I mean like myself. I feel like a warrior woman. Because I chose to still find beauty, genuine, undeniable, raw organic, non-GMO beauty in myself despite societies standards, not just the western painting of beauty but a standard mirrored in even the most free-thinking open-minded corners of the world. If you find yourself stuck between societies agreements and yourself, always choose yourself. Self-love is everything. If it really is all a dream, participate, lucid dream and form your own reality. To unabashedly love thyself and honor your truth is the greatest way to honor yourself, and this life.

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