Learning to Love Yourself with Wednesday

Bianca: “You’re lucky”

Wednesday: “Do tell.”

Bianca: “You don’t care what people think of you.”

Photo taken from Netflix

I mentioned in a previous post that I don’t have much luck with guys. I actually don’t have much luck with people in general. At least that’s what I can’t get myself to stop thinking all the time. 

“That person thinks I’m weird”, I would often tell a family member. 

“Why do you think that?”, they would often ask, reminding me that what I’m think is not fact. 

“People tend to be selfish and are mostly thinking about themselves”, my therapist would always remind me.

No matter how hard I try to keep what I’m told in mind, it’s often hard for me not to think about what’s others are thinking about me. While watching “Wednesday”, what stuck out to to me was how different I am from the titular character. She genuinely doesn’t care about what people think about her. I care a bit too much about what people think about me. Some professionals who analyzed the show think Wednesday might have autism. This might be why she has so much trouble showing her emotions. I, on the other hand, have borderline personality disorder and often have trouble keeping my emotions in check.

 What really caught my attention about Wednesday, however, is that she knows she’s different and accepts that. Her viral dance sequence shows this most. She’s confident and not afraid to be herself. What I love most is that though there are some scenes when she sometimes feels insecure and afraid of being alone and eventually allows friends to have a little influence on her, none of this changes who she is at her core. Wednesday will allows be Wednesday, and through the rough patches, her friends start to accept this. They don’t try to change her. Instead, the relationship that Wednesday has with her friends is reciprocal, especially with her best friend Enid. Wednesday starts the series feeling she is better off alone, and Enid starts the series feeling insecure. The series ends with Wednesday fully accepting Enid’s friendship and Enid gaining confidence. 

Watching Wednesday really put into perspective for me how hard it can be to feel different from others, but how easy it can feel to be ok with that when you are comfortable with yourself and have people around you who accept you for who you are. I am definitely still a work in progress, but I am learning to love myself, and when people tell me they love me the way I am, I am learning to believe them. 


My Hair Journey: How I Fell in Love with my Hair

Growing up, I had a love-hate relationship with my hair. I am a woman of African descent, and people with African roots generally have what we call “kinky” or “coily” hair. I used to love when my mother would style my hair in beautiful braids, and the compliments I would get about them. However, I hated how hard it was for me to style my hair myself. My hair was unruly and difficult to deal with, or at least that’s what I thought. 

I had my hair relaxed for the first time when I was still a small child. It was for a wedding. I was still very young, but I was old enough to remember that when I looked in the mirror, I thought I never looked more beautiful. I felt more beautiful too. I also felt like my hair was much more manageable. I didn’t get another relaxer put into my hair again until my late teens, but I continued to straighten my hair with flat irons. In other words, through heat. My hair started to become very damaged from all the heat and chemicals, and I eventually decided to do a “big chop”, or cut off the damaged, relaxed parts of my hair. In the end, I was left with a bit of a buzz cut. As my hair started to grow back, I took the time to learn how to properly take care of my hair and style it. 

Many Black women around the world are forgoing the flat iron and relaxers, opting to wear our hair in its natural state instead. A natural hair movement is taking place, and many influencers and companies that sell hair care products have been benefitting from it. Many natural hairstyling videos have been popping up on YouTube to teach black women who choose to go natural how to care for their hair, as well as how to style it. Companies that have been creating haircare products geared towards black women are gaining attention. In fact, in the recent years, there has been a decline in hair relaxer sales. In light of this, some haircare companies that have been previously focused on selling hair straightening products are jumping on the natural hair movement bandwagon

The movement is not meant to discourage black women from getting relaxers, but rather to encourage each other to feel beautiful and confident regardless of how we choose to wear our hair. I believe there is a lesson every woman can take away from the natural hair movement: you are beautiful just the way you are. It doesn’t matter what our hair texture or skin color might be. We are all queens. After all, diversity is beautiful. Gone are the days when I thought of my hair as unattractive. When I cut my hair, I wasn’t sure I would want to stay natural. Then I looked in the mirror, and thought I never looked more beautiful. 

Happy Valentine’s Day to Me!

Picture taken from Pixabay

I never really had much luck with guys and dating. I’ve even had the word “ugly” thrown at me several times. If you’re told something enough times, you start to believe it. 

I started believing I must be too ugly and unattractive for any guy to date me, or even want to. I continued thinking that even after becoming an adult and guys started showing interest in me. Too stuck in my low self-esteem, it’s sometimes actually hard for my to even notice when a guy is showing interest in me. My siblings always make fun of me for being a little air-headed sometimes. 

Due to my struggles with my self esteem, however, I haven’t really been interested in starting a relationship anyway recently. I’m happily single and working on self-love. I truly believe there is some truth to the saying that no one can love you better than you love yourself. People are going treat you the way you treat yourself, so treat yourself well.

I’m slowly unlearning what I’ve been told many times. I am beautiful, and dear reader, so are you. So this upcoming Valentine’s Day, especially to my single brothers and sisters out there, celebrate your love for yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day, and I’ll see you in the next post! 

Turner Syndrome and My Mental Health: A Second Helping

In a previous post, I mentioned that I have a condition called Turner Syndrome. For those unfamiliar with the condition, it is a genetic disorder when a girl is born with one of her X chromosomes partially or fully missing (boys generally have an x and y chromosome, while girls generally have two X chromosomes). 

The biggest issues with Turner Syndrome is that many girls with the condition are generally infertile, and can’t go through puberty on their own. They usually need hormone replacements. Turner Syndrome can lead to a host of other complications as well. Those complications can include problems with the heart, kidneys, bones, and thyroid gland. Complications vary from girl to girl. Each girl’s experience with the condition varies, and their symptoms can range from mild to severe. 

Girls with Turner syndrome can be diagnosed at any stage in life (before birth, at birth, during infancy, during their teenage, or during their adult years). Generally, the more severe the symptoms, the earlier a girl with Turner syndrome will be diagnosed. Most fetuses with the condition actually have symptoms that are so severe they never make it to term. Turner syndrome is a rare disorder that occurs in around 1 in 2,000 to 2,500 live female births. Around 99 of pregnancies where the fetus has Turner syndrome end in miscarriage.

I suppose that makes me a bit of a miracle baby, or so I like to think at times. I struggled with low self esteem growing up. I always saw nothing but my flaws, and the bullying and I went through during my time in school didn’t help. There was also the fact that I had disabilities and was very dependent on my family. I felt like a burden to them. No matter how hard I tried, I could never fully shake off those feelings, and I hated that. There would be times when someone would say or do something that would make me happy, or I would be doing an activity that would make me happy, but by the time I look around I’m back to feeling low. There would also be times when there was a reason I was down, and other times when I just couldn’t explain why I was feeling depressed. When I was a teen, I kept thinking that one day I will let those feelings go when I finally became an adult. I am now a fully grown adult, and still struggle a bit with these issues. I have learned that what I was going through was not just a phase, or something that I was easily going to get through.

Thankfully, I have a very supportive family. My family has been incredibly patient with me, and extremely supportive. To me, they have been like my therapists. They listen to my concerns, and even encourage me to open up. They never make me feel ashamed of my concerns or feelings when I do share them, and they never make me feel ashamed of my struggles. They also never make me feel like a burden. They are always making sure that I know I’m loved, and that I have a purpose and place in my family and in the world. Considering that I was blessed to be a part of the small one percent of fetuses so h Turner Syndrome to make it to term, I can’t help but to feel they are right. 

My mental health journey is still ongoing. I’m still finding myself, still growing. I’m still struggling with my self esteem. I don’t know why I was part of that small 1 percent, but I do know that I am willing to continue fighting through this crazy journey called “life” to find out.  After all, if there is one thing I know, it’s this: we are all here for a reason.

Note: My inspiration for this post was fellow blogger and disability advocate Amanda Gene, who is also very lucky to be alive today. Give her blog visit and read her story here.