I miss my hair!
I miss the feeling of my long freshly straightened hair down my back and the smell of minty clean tresses that shined in any lighting. I miss the way it made me feel. Beautiful. Ideal. It was a rarity amongst women that looked like me. I miss my ponytail swinging in my baseball cap and my lengthy pig tails that gave me the uncanny resemblance to Pocahontas. “The girl with the long hair,” they once called me.

I miss my collar bone!
Yes, I said it! The protruding part of my body that once told me I was “skinny” and met society’s standards. I miss going to the store and “winging it,” knowing that my figure was always true to size. I miss my abs that looked like I was born this way, and when I missed lunch and dinner, just so I could be OK with how I looked. “I wish I had her body,” they’d say with a look of admiration.

I miss my beautiful face!
It was so youthful and carefree, while radiating in the sun and constantly reminding me that I had my whole life ahead of me. My forehead, lacking wrinkles, with my skin so supple and clear. I missed my life before under-eye bags, moles, and dark circles, where bartenders carded me to make sure they didn’t lose their job from mere assumption. “The timeless beauty,” as they referred to me.

All of these things gave me life and made me feel worthy, loved, and accepted by others and by myself. I never fathomed a moment where I would have to live without them and now my head hangs down because I do not recognize the woman I see in my reflection. So I utilize extensions, and makeup, and life threatening waist training contraptions to give me the look I desire to have. I am willing to risk hurting myself, because at the end of the day I just want to be the next “#goals” by all my followers. I want them to love me…so that I can love myself.

I am thankful for moments like this one where God sends me gentle reminders of his love and helps me to see the beauty that he has created staring back at me.

As I looked in the mirror, exposed, revealing my most authentic self for the first time, I realized that these changes make me who I am and serve as a beautiful constant reminder of my evolution as a woman. I’d placed so much pressure on myself to not change on the outside, while idolizing society’s standards that I failed to realize it was stifling my ability to change on the INSIDE. It was keeping me from truly learning how to love myself for ME, not for anyone else’s validation. And the only way I can ever rediscover self-love is by embracing my outer beauty for what it is knowing that regardless of how much different it becomes it won’t EVER take away the true essence of ME…unless I give it that power!

So you know what?

I love my short hair!
The curly tresses glisten from my persistent ability to try every hair product in my collection. I love how it makes me feel carefree and its little imperfections remind me that I am perfectly imperfect. It’s soft, fine tendrils form a sassy fro that surprisingly brings the boys to the yard! And when I straighten it, I always feel the need to pick up my umbrella and dance around like Rihanna from the Good Girl Gone Bad Album. “I am not my hair,” I declared.

I love my dimples, stripes, and soft spots too! **laughs to self
They sag and swing and do things that I am amazed with on a daily basis. From feeding and carrying an entire human being, to developing muscles in places that we never knew were even needed thanks to juggling multiple things at one time. I love its uncertainty and ability to transform on a daily basis redefining and challenging the status quo of what a woman’s body should look like. “I am not this skin,” I declared.

I love my reflection!
When I hold up my compact, I intentionally remind the person looking back at me how beautiful she is! I am amazed at how a simple smile on my face has the ability to create positive environments. It sets the tone and creates a warm aura around me that welcomes others into my space. My eyes offer a sneak peek into my soul and often speaks those things I can’t bear to say. My nose offers me the pleasures of taking in the most fragrant scents and reminds me daily that I am alive and present. My ears challenge me to quiet my thoughts so that I can listen to what my heart is telling me.

“I am not my hair,
I am not this skin,
I am the soul that lives within.”

Lift your head up queen and re-adjust your crown, because you are and will forever be the ISH!