a couple of weeks ago i went to get my haircut. i had arrived early to my appointment so i sat in the lobby waiting patiently when a mother and daughter walked in. the daughter was maybe 12 or 13 years old and i thought oh how i remember those days. Getting my hair cut but needing my mom there for support because “what if it turns out ugly? what if i hate it? and how much am i supposed to tip?”. they sat down across from me. shortly after, their hairdresser came out to greet them but before she could even finish saying “good morning” the mother had began pointing out what needed to be done during this appointment; “she needs to have some color added to brighten her up, don’t ya think? make her not so frumpy?” “she can’t have bangs because her face is too wide” “maybe let’s keep her hair long so it’s still pretty”.
i was in shock, i couldn’t even imagine how this girl felt at that moment. i try to look at her face, but her eyes are glued to the floor. I’m staring at her for what feels like a solid 10 minutes but i needed her to make eye contact with me. i needed her to see that i was there for her…with her. that i thought she was beautiful just as she was. i can sense that my staring was becoming uncomfortable and maybe a little intrusive but off they went, to begin the makeover. i felt defeated. it’s not any of my business, i shouldn’t care but i did. i wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone, we’ve all been there. we’ve all experienced a blow to our self esteem, the confusion about your self worth, but i wanted her to know that it doesn’t last.
i’m overcome with my thoughts and emotions (don’t cry in public, don’t cry in public, don’t cry in public). i think of my childhood, my insecurities, my own experiences with my self esteem. i can’t remember when my confidence began to fade, but i remember when someone had pointed out to me that it had. it was at a thanksgiving dinner back when i was in high school. a family member said to me, “you used to be so sassy, you didn’t care what anybody thought- you said whatever you wanted because you were MACKENZIE!”… i lingered on the “used to be” part of that statement. was i not this way anymore?? if i wasn’t, then what was i? i felt like i had a grasp on who i was (kind of)… but i knew deep down that part of what they said was true. i wasn’t that same girl anymore, i cared what people thought of me but what i didn’t care about was what i thought of myself. i didn’t think it mattered. no one in my family exercised self love. i don’t think any of us really understood it or knew how important it was. we could see all the great qualities in each other but none of us could see it in ourselves. what i couldn’t understand back then was how loving myself, embracing my quirks and owning my flaws would open up my whole world. i don’t need anyone else’s opinion to validate who i am, at least i don’t anymore. it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that i really started to figure out who i was (i’m a late bloomer). i had quit pep squad and began to focus my attention elsewhere… photography. i had taken my first class during my junior year and continued through to my freshman year of college. i found a whole knew confidence in creativity. i felt like i could finally see what i should have seen in myself a long time ago. i am creative. sensitive. funny. and strong.
self love is so important, it’s the foundation of you. there will be people who will try to knock it down, but you must protect it. remind yourself of who you are and love yourself for who you are; a lover, an aries, a creator, a sister.
happy valentines day to you. xx