When you look around what do you see? Are you present to the sound of laughter in the background or the attractive guy holding a puppy in your left peripheral? Being present isn’t the easiest thing, especially when someone says something that makes you lose your train of thought. Our thoughts wander all the time, especially with our mutually decreased attention spans.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop surrounded by people doing life, just like me. I don’t know what brought them to this space on a Thursday afternoon in April, but here we are. I’m just as much part of their story as they are mine. The events that lead me to a person or place fascinate me. It’s like a puzzle that paints a story belonging solely to me and that one person. Stories are my favorite things to uncover and learn about. I think it’s one of the reasons I love photos of people and making mini-documentaries so much. Stories are what connect us to each other and I’ve always craved connection.
It still blows my mind that I live in LA. Only because it’s been a dream of mine for years and I somehow made it work. I made it work despite my fears of falling on my face in a city known for being superficial. Because I’m not superficial and I have a lot of insecurities about my outward appearance. It’s something that I still struggle with on a daily basis. I never could have imagined the life I have now. The trick I think is that I didn’t fight it.
I don’t let the past dictate my future but there are for sure things that have happened that are still getting in the way of me moving forward.
I had to have a lot of jaw surgeries growing up and I spent all of middle school and high school in braces. Because I felt so self-conscious I didn’t date and a lot of people stopped talking to me. “Friends” of mine would call at 2 am or message me on AIM letting me know that no one loved me, or that the scar on my neck was so ugly that no one would ever want to date me. And I believed them because I had no reason to believe otherwise. The truth is that the scar is leftover from my birth when my mom was in labor with me for 48 hours and I wouldn’t move down the birth canal. It looks different than it did because of the following jaw surgeries but basically I could have died and I didn’t so here I am.
It’s a mark of survival but when you hear something enough you can start to believe it. And I 100% believed that no one other than my family and my female friends would ever love me because of the scar. It’s taken me years to even talk about it.
Flash forward to today. Once I began uncovering the real reason why I haven’t seriously dated things began to shift. Not with dating but with my friendships. It blew my mind the day I was told that no one actually cared about the scar because I’d spent years believing that no one would ever love me for it.
It took me to maybe January this year to feel comfortable enough to not wear makeup around my roommate out of fear that I would be looked at differently. Fear’s a serious condition that unfortunately does have the power to overpower your whole life.
I’m not writing this for any reason other than to draw awareness to limiting beliefs that we all hold about ourselves. Things that most people don’t actually care about because a lot of people love you despite your flaws. I never believed that statement because I’ve never had a group of people like the one I have in LA. But unconditional love is a real thing and not everyone leaves when you mess up or look a certain way.
I’m still working on overcoming my feeling surrounding the scar and I still feel self-conscious about it. It is one of my biggest insecurities. But I was talking to a friend the other day and she suggested that I write about it.
I love stories for the connection you can create with other people. Most of all, I love stories for their power to heal others who are also struggling.