They always say that your school days are the best of your life.
But for some of us, they’re like nightmares we’ve trained our minds to forget.
When I was in school, they called me names and made me feel helpless and so small. They picked and poked, and tore away slabs of my sunshine and self-worth, one day at a time.
I was afraid to put my hand up in class and call out the answer, even when I knew what it was. I prayed I wouldn’t get picked on by my teachers just so I wouldn’t have to open my mouth and try and tug the words out in front of my class.
I never felt like I belonged. For years, I lived like a misfit, desperately wondering why I couldn’t find a place that fit my shape.
Making friends was a struggle. And any that I did make always felt like a lie. I’d be beaten down by them too, but they’d always say it was just a joke. Except I was never laughing; only hurting, as the knife cut through my spine.
The boys made sure I knew I was ugly, from the roots of my hair, down to the soles of my feet. And if you’re reading this, congratulations guys, because I felt like a piece of shit on someone’s shoe.
It didn’t take long before they’d taken it all.
My confidence, my happiness, and my inner peace. And there were days where I felt like I couldn’t survive another one like it.
Days where I cried in the girl’s bathroom on my own, silencing my sobs so no one would hear me. Days where I hoped I’d get sick and get to stay in the sanctuary of my home. There were days where I changed who I was in the hopes they would like me. But it never worked.
And every time I let go of a dear piece of myself, I wandered a little deeper into the dense forest, losing my way home, retreating backward with each footstep I took forward.
I’ve always been a shy, introverted girl. We don’t do well in crowds of people. We need our alone time. And we feel and analyze things on a deeper level than most.
But that painful period in my life froze me. I felt helpless, and I felt broken.
For a decade, I was scared to be myself. Afraid to show my true rainbow of colors. Paranoid about my friends and what they secretly thought of me. And terrified of talking to guys, unable to believe anyone would ever be attracted to this awkward, Asian girl.
But I was one of the lucky ones. Because I made it through. I didn’t let them stop me from blooming into the Goddess I am today. And yes, I believe I am a Goddess, and I’m not afraid to shout it from the rooftops, because who gives a flying fuck if you disagree?
If you’re reading this and feel like you don’t belong; if you feel like you have no home of soul sisters to spill your heart open to; if you see your honey soft exterior as a flaw that needs to be hardened into tooth-breaking candy, please, listen:
Shy, awkward, “ugly” girls like you and me, grow up to be extraordinary women.
We grow into the head-turners and straight 10 outta 10s, once the boys grow into men and realize what beauty truly means.
We grow into the strong, courageous women who do things that scare them and constantly challenge themselves to be better than they were yesterday.
We grow into the leaders, the creators, and the change makers of this beautiful world, doing cool shit that most people aren’t; leaving our footprints and our legacy behind when we leave.
We grow into people who others are magnetically drawn to because we’re unapologetically ourselves through and through, we speak our mind, and we don’t give a damn if you like us or not, this is who we are, take us, or leave us.
We grow into the kind of women who young girls can look up to and find hope in.
We know, because we used to be those girls, and those women we admired pulled us through on the darkest of days.
Please, keep going. Push your way through this chapter. Because your story is about to become more beautiful than you dare to imagine.