Friday, January 18, 2013

Be a Nerd

Act #18: Love yourself first so that you can then love others.

I've worn contacts just as soon as my parents allowed me to do so in high school, because wearing glasses always made me feel nerdy, like I was the serious type. I've worn high heel shoes since I was in college because being taller somehow made me feel more powerful, more important. In my early 30's a friend introduced me to the flat iron, and I started straightening my hair. Every beautiful Asian model that I'd ever seen always had long, straight, shiny, black hair - and I had gone my whole life thinking that I was forever cursed as the only wavy-headed Asian girl in the world. The flat iron was a god-send. Since I hit puberty, I've apparently been incessantly striving to become more "attractive", to appear taller, and to fit in better. This morning I ran into a dear friend and he hugged me and said, "Gosh, I didn't realize how tiny you were!" I looked down at my feet, at my leopard-print canvas flats and it occurred to me that I have been wearing flats regularly for the past six months. I've also been wearing my glasses every day and I haven't pulled my flat-iron out in weeks. I save all kinds of time not having to squeeze my contacts in every day, not straightening my hair, and not trying to balance myself on stilts. Maybe that's why I find myself with a bit more time to do the things I didn't even know I loved doing - like writing this blog. The transformation was in no way intentional, but these days I would honestly take "looking nerdy" as a huge compliment. Why wouldn't I want to look serious about the things that mattered to me? While my pants drag a little on my 5'1 frame without my heels, I feel unexpectedly centered when I can feel the ground beneath me. I've learned to embrace my natural waves, clearly passed down to me from my mom - and I love knowing that I get to carry on one of her most defining traits.

And oddly enough, I feel more beautiful, more strong, and more "me" than I ever have.