be yourself

‘I don’t really like black people, but you’re different.’ I shrank inside myself. I couldn’t change my skin, but I could lose every identifiable piece of who I was to blend in.’: Woman recalls experiences with racism, ‘I’m no longer a scared little girl’

“After months of being teased about my accent, my clothes, my hair, my body, I had no wherewithal to speak up when the N-word came out of the mouth of someone I considered a friend. I froze. I spent the rest of the year working hard to drop my accent. I got quiet. I learned not to raise my hand, because the teacher would make it a point to humiliate me anyway.”

‘You are His masterpiece, beautiful girl. You can’t compete with an edited image of another girl. You’re already valuable.’: Mom says ‘your worth cannot be measured from the outside’

“When I delivered you in the hospital and saw your face for the very the first time, I was instantly in love with all of you. God gave you the exact color of eyes and hair on your head, and gifts and talents for a reason. Your worth and value can’t be measured from the outside.”

‘That isn’t going to look as good after 30 years and a baby.’ Well DUH! I’m not getting this for 53-year-old me. I’m getting this for 23-year-old me.’: Woman urges ‘my tattoos are for me, not you’

“My Papaw passed away when I was in high school during a very trying time in my life. My tattoos are a very personal thing to me. They’re artwork that shows how I see the world. Right there on my skin. I love it. But I have a very suit and tie job, and unfortunately, not everyone agrees. And they choose to share their opinion with me.”

‘Dear teenage sister, I tried commenting on this photo you posted, but noticed you deleted it 2 minutes later because it didn’t get enough likes.’: Woman pens touching letter to younger sister

“I write this with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes. I feel sick at the thought kids your age don’t know how amazing you are, how LOVED you are. Not just ‘liked’ on Instagram, but insurmountably loved. Here. In real life. Just as you are. I promise no app, no social media platform, or amount of internet followers will ever scratch the surface of your worth.”

‘Tonight, my husband took the kids to a movie. ‘Do something you enjoy.’ Suddenly, I couldn’t think of anything. I walked into the bathroom and didn’t recognize myself.’: Mom says ‘it’s a journey to get back to who you used to be’

“I had spent all this time looking forward to a break from my kids and husband, I hadn’t really thought about what I would do when I was finally alone. I walked into the bathroom and just stood there, staring at myself. ‘Okay, now what?’ I didn’t even recognize myself. I have been so busy being mom, I couldn’t remember who I was before that.”

‘I get told I’m ‘too much.’ I can’t whisper. I laugh at my own jokes. I suck at keeping plans, and I spend more money than I save. But all of these things make me, ME.’: Woman urges ‘stop letting people extinguish what sets your soul on fire’

“You will be told you are too honest. Too real. You may be told your dreams are silly or stupid. You may be taunted, laughed at, or mocked for stepping out of what is ‘expected of you.’ Sorry not sorry, but you can’t confine me to a box, and girl, you shouldn’t either! You have a light that is too bright to be hidden. Stop letting people extinguish what sets your soul on fire.”

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