I took my voice back, and I became ME, Unapologetically Me.
For my whole life, I tried to be someone who I was, not just to fit in and only to be accepted. Until I realized I would never be perfect and perfectly imperfect, I started to fall in love with all my mistakes, scars and know it made me who I am. Before I go into my story, let me say this took me 35 years to discover the beauty in me and accept that as my whole truth. I am a mother, an entrepreneur, and a woman with a voice and a vision that is set out to create a positive impact on people around the world, to remind them that they are beautiful, no matter how old they are, what color they have, and whatever social status.
"my teacher told me that my best career was to be a janitor"
I grew up with all kinds of trauma. I was abandoned by my father, raised by a struggling single mother that was emotionally unavailable to my brother and me. I bared the guilt as a sister that was not present in my brother’s life; on top of that, I’ve experienced sexual molestation at a very young age (9-12 years old), not by one man, but by four different men in my life. At the time, I was too young to know what was going on, but I reacted, and I ran away from home. I took those unknown emotions on my young brother with resentment and rage, with no one to speak to, I choose to run away from reality, I abandoned my younger brother, and I was absent from school so much. Hence, my teacher told me that my best career was to be a janitor. At home, I was told not to smile, I had an ugly smile, and for me to be successful, I needed plastic surgery for my teeth, mouth, nose, and eyes. The reality was my voice, and my identity was taken away. I spent my life chasing a dream of family life, a family that I’ve fantasized about at a very young age, an average family where I can feel and be seen as usual to the outside. That self-image had led me into a marriage that looked great on paper, but I knew from the bottom of my heart that it wouldn’t work out. I made a fear-based decision assuming no one will ever love me because I was almost 30 years old and I’m getting old, and more importantly, because I did not love myself enough to know what I deserve. I did not know how to use my voice, and every time a significant conflict happened, something uncomfortable occurs, despite on the outside I am a mature grown woman, I still ran away like that little girl running away from the abuse, the event, and always in denial of the past. This was so traumatic. I couldn’t even tell my therapist the events through my years of therapy until the “end.” The end of my marriage, my business, and almost to the end of my life. As I am writing about this, I don’t recall that I ever dared to bring this part of life up in my marriage therapy. That’s how much I didn’t want to face it. At the age of 35, I thought that was the end, I’m too old to date again, I’m too old to take any chances in my career, I’m a single mom, and I don’t have it together, and I’ve hit my rock bottom. When I lost everything, and I started my walk as a newly single mother to my 4-year-old boy at the time. I was paralyzed by my childhood, all these “what if I can’t hold it up together like my mom? What if I don’t watch my son and something happens to him? How can I possibly live?”
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That’s when I was forced to look at myself. It was one of the most challenging things in my life. Look at my wound, the shame, and all the mistakes that I’ve made, I had to own up to who I am, I had to forgive myself, I had to make radical changes, and I had to take action to take my power back. Because I’ve decided that I am NOT my mother, and I will, and I can stand firm because I made that decision. My life started to change when I took my voice back, when I looked at myself with love and compassion when I began to say to myself that I AM beautiful, I AM amazing, I AM capable, I AM great, I AM an influencer, I AM going to empower people, and I AM Greatness. I realized that I am just like the Japanese Kintsugi Art. Pottery may be broken, but once carefully put back together with gold repair, it’s a unique one-of-a-kind. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of history, rather than disguise. That’s when I realized my past is what made me who I am, and I’m not hiding anymore. To heal is to share. To heal is to come together and change. To heal is to forgive, let go of my past, and create my future. My history is not my future, and I don’t wake up being defined by the memory of my past, but I wake up being represented by a vision of my future. The past is done, it’s gone, and the past was a past manifestation. I am now focused on creating the end, the best life for me as a human being and those around me. Once my perspective changed, at the age of 36, I was born again, there was light in my spirit, and every day I just focus on where I am heading towards, one day at a time, one step at a time. My mission is to create a positive impact worldwide through mentorship and storytelling because I can and I will.
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I know I am not the only one who has had a lifelong struggle with feeling comfortable in their skin. I know some of us can remember the exact moment when the world shifted from blissful ignorance to crippling insecurities. At least I can.