I am me. I am the oldest of 2, the only daughter and the first one in my family to graduate from college. I'm a book nerd and loved to hide out in the library when I was a kid, surrounded by books and great tales that provided me an escape from the horrible, judgmental world I lived in. I also loved to write. I could become anyone I wanted to be in my stories. I could be me and no one would criticize me or insult me. I could be accepted for me in that world. I loved music and played the flute from 7th grade and onward. I loved the escape that music also provided and how it would make my heart sing. I look back and now believe books, writing and music saved my life; it made me want a better life; it made me want to go to college and be a better person. I am me.
I am me. I spent my whole life being big and have only been skinny when I was a baby. I used to hide myself in my clothes by wearing a size bigger than I was and would never wear bold colors, white or prints. I used to get so sad when I could not find my size at the local store and not wear what my thinner sisters were wearing. I felt so unattractive because of the clothing limitations imposed on me because of my body. I owe my fashion re-birth to my dad, who one day, when I was 13, gave me a pair of his Levi's 501 jeans, which fit me perfectly. I was so happy, especially when he told me that I should never feel like I am different because of my size; that I just have to work with what I got. I took those jeans, let out the hem, frayed it and bedazzled them. I was given a do-over and a fashion superstar was born that day. I will no longer hide in my clothing and I cannot look back, only forward. I am me.
I am me. I have been called every name and insult out there, from fat bitch to whale. I have had guys reject me, telling me that they would only date me if I were to lose weight. I have also had guys who want to date me but in secret. I have had family members call me huge or tell me that I need to lose weight. I have had total strangers tell me that if I lose weight, I would be so beautiful. I was hurt for so many years, so angry at the world. I had to come to peace with the fact that while the world may feel a certain way, they do not dictate how I feel about myself. I am me.
I am me. I had people who did not want to be my friend because they didn't want to be seen with me. I had people who thought I was disgusting and because they never wanted to be like me, didn't want to be around me. I used to think I wasn't good enough. I used to feel like the odd one out. I thought no one understood me. I later found out that wasn't true. I had to accept me for me. I am beautiful. I am me.
I am me. I was told growing up that I was not dark enough to be considered Latina. I was told that I talked "white" because I used big fancy words when I spoke, acted like a "white" girl and that my white skin was not attractive. I was told how lucky I was that I could "pass" and would have a better life if I acted like I was not Latina. I was so lost for years, not knowing my identity and where I fit in. I had my epiphany moment one day when a woman came up to me at a bus stop in the Bronx and asked me in Spanish, what bus stopped there. I asked her, "How did you know I was Latina?" and she replied in a confused tone in spanish, "Because you look Latina." I realized that day that my skin color does not define who I am and where I came from. I am proud to be a "white" looking Latina. I embrace who I am. I am me.
I am me. I wake up every morning, thankful for another day, another do-over, and hopeful at the thought of a brand new day. I feel like the sky's the limit and I can do anything I set my mind to. I am comfortable in my big body and am in awe of my beauty from within. I know I have something to offer this world. I love me, even my flaws and imperfections. I am not perfect but I am happy with who I am. I didn't always feel this way but after everything I have been through on this journey, I am finally in a happy, accepting place. I am Marcy. I am me.
Who are you?
Image courtesy of notsalmon.com