This I Believe: Key of Happiness

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I believe acceptance is the root of all happiness. Self-acceptance, precisely. Embracing oneself moves mountains and changes the tides. There is no way to explicitly explain the allure of a human being. Truly, there is no way to define what it means to be beautiful. However, the outside world tells us otherwise and tries to convince us that we must beat ourselves down to dirt and mold ourselves into something that is perfect and conventionally acceptable. It is hard to find a home in your own body when it always seems as if someone is better. The everlasting search for perfection is corruption disguised in the idea that it’s okay to want to stitch your own skin together from clippings of Vogue magazines.

When I was in elementary school, I found myself to be chubbier than others. Even at the age of seven years old, I did not feel like my own body was my own and I was simply living disconnected from my own bones. Despite the ceaseless praise I received from my parents and grandparents, nothing ever sufficed. Everyone knows that children are cruel, especially bratty young girls in the second grade. I still remember the first time someone called me “fat”. It turns out the playground is not a safe haven after all. I was engaging in an innocent game of tag with a couple of my classmates during recess and struggled to keep up due to my moderate asthma. However, this was the opportunity for one of my fellow peers to take a jab at sluggishness.

“You are running so slow because you are fat!” Now, it may seem as if this is a comment that should’ve been simply brushed off. However, my seven-year-old mind could not help but take that comment into the deepest realm of my soul. From that day on, the mirror was my worst enemy and I would no longer admire what I saw. I crumbled so quietly. I believe that most young girls can understand the hollow sensation of empty lungs because you don’t like how your hair falls or how your nose looks. I felt like my own spine could not hold me up and my chubby cheeks held my greatest shame.

I would pass by windows and catch a glance of my reflection, instantly convincing myself that I looked decent the moment I saw my reflection only because of the unevenness of the glass. I had lost a sense of my own humanity. My days consisted of rubbing at my face with new cleansers, drowning myself with makeup products from my mother’s vanity, sitting up straighter, frying my hair, sucking in. Nothing was ever enough. No one ever sees this as abnormal. Its just girlhood, right? I wanted to be refined. I saw people that had grace in the simplest moves and I wondered why I wasn’t them.

My search for physical fulfillment followed me well into middle school. My thirteen-year-old self had not let my first grader self go, and I was still holding onto the hostility I had against my own body. Eighth grade was headed my way and my grandmother had dragged me to the mall to get new clothes despite my protests. I hated the dressing room mirror more than anything. My grandmother required a fashion show for every article of clothing I took into the dressing room. She asked me why I didn’t like anything and I would tell her none of the dresses or shirts look flattering on my pudgy arms or legs. She wouldn’t take my self-ridicule for an answer. “You own those arms and legs, not the world. Now, do you like the dresses?”

Truthfully, once you start picking and choosing elements of yourself that you want to be eliminated, you’ll never stop. I believe that you should envelop yourself into your own arms and let your beauty flow into something beyond diets and beauty products. Let your beauty escape into something you love like writing, learning, playing an instrument or a sport. Find fondness towards your wide eyes and long fingers. Life is not about making yourself a blur in the background. You are rain trickling down in July and gusts of cool air in August. Have faith in your legs and hands even if you stumble sometimes. Stop burying yourself into something gentle. We have to convince ourselves that we are the scent of jasmine flowers in the morning and that we can do anything. But before you are able to do anything, you must breathe in who you are first.


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This I Believe: Key of Happiness. (2021, Jan 09). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/this-i-believe-key-of-happiness/

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