Sometimes we can be the worst judgment of ourselves, whether it may be hard to admit why we are beautiful or why we are unique. We create in our minds a multitude of insecurities, judgement, fear and doubt that sometimes we can lose sight of who we really are. We may go into thinking we are alone in everything, when really we are not. We may feel the need to keep asking ourselves... am I good enough?
I grew up with this void in my life of this lost love for myself. My Dad being in the Navy, a child of divorce, and a blended family; I went from state to state, home to home and city to city. It was an unstable time in my life as a child growing up; where I couldn’t completely understand what it meant to have a home. My challenges as a child is a big part of who I am as a person, mother and wife. I always felt I needed acceptance from people. It was that standard idea of, if I did this, they will accept me. If I showed off with my talents boastful not humbly… I would be accepted. It was that void to want to be more than enough, it was being someone I wasn’t or thought I was. It was being enough to satisfy people, than my own self.
Most won’t know this about me, but I was mean. As a young child, I felt I was very insecure and unstable. I secretly became a two face to people around me. It was the fact I wanted to be accepted back, that I wanted to be good enough to feel wanted. I was a bully. Thinking back I would talk down on certain people in my lives, because they weren’t “enough” to be my friends. I feel completely embarrassed sharing this, but it is a part of me and my past that I struggled growing up from my elementary years to middle school. I carried this book to talk about others, basically like the “Burn Book” by Regina George in Mean Girls. ( Yes, I know this stuff is true!) I would say and write mean things to certain people, to make me feel better. I would feel the need to hurt people to make me feel good when in reality, I was broken inside. I have lost touch with those I know I hurt butif somehow you come across reading this, I’m sorry I made you feel that you weren’t enough. It breaks my heart I was this person, why I felt I needed to be a bully to prove to myself that I can be accepted, that I can be just as good as the “crowd”.
While I wrote things about other people, I kept a journal strictly for me and it was my own “burn book”. Words that burned me as a person. When my crush wouldn’t talk to me, I would feel this ultimate dissatisfaction of not being pretty enough like the other girls. If I felt left out, I wasn’t good enough to have friends. If I did what they did, I could be just enough to be with the “in crowd.” Having my stepmom in my life, majority of how I felt was not being a good enough daughter. My broken self was being two different people, just to be enough for others; when internally though, I wasn’t enough. It was then a part of me at the age of 12 years, I wished I was dead. I wish that I didn’t deserve my life anymore. I was completely broken and those were only emotions I shared in my “burn book”. I remember, I would write: I am not good enough for him. I am not good enough for friends. I am not pretty enough. I am not good enough for anything. I do not belong in this world. I am simply not enough for anybody. Yes, if you’re thinking it. I did feel the need to want to commit suicide. But what I came to realize moving into a new city and new school as a freshmen… I took a step back to really reflect what was just enough.
I had a loving mother figure in my life who cared for me when my birth mother couldn’t. My dad worked hours to help provide for me and my sister, even if I didn’t see him much. I had my education I needed to go to college and graduate. I had a home. I was given a car when I got my license. I started dancing at the age of 13 and found a Halau who loved me as their daughter and sister.I witnessed the birth of my baby sisters, and learned how it was to care for those much younger than me. I remember always having art as part of my life, whether I was cooking, crafting, painting or acting it was what made me feel whole. I had amazing teachers who saw the potential in me to lead and rise above. All these great moments can outweigh the challenges I faced and knowing that this here is all I needed.
We live in a world that shows insecurities, hurt and pain; but sometimes we don’t need to live in this sort of mindset if we know that we were uniquely created to be something and do something. If we open our minds to understand that if someone has the same goals, dreams and aspiration, we have something special in us that no one else can give. Every day we are tested to find growth and self discovery; it is our struggle, our challenges to every great thing that creates our self, purpose, and worth. When we struggle with ourselves it is okay to live it and overcome, because we find someone better than before. We just have to know now, who we were yesterday, who we are now and who we may be tomorrow… is simply just enough. And with my faith, I am just enough for Him.
It's your turn, to say it to yourself…."You are enough, a thousand times enough."
As mentioned before, February ties to a word of love and this word underlines our self love we tend to battle with. I also dedicate it to my talented and creative soul, April Baytan, who is an aspiring florist designer and beautiful person inside and out. Although, I met her once, our interaction was so powerful, we felt we’ve known each other for years. This week she had allowed me to deeply see the root of who I am and rebrand my creative business to my story. What stood out to me when speaking to her was her vulnerability, effortless being, authentic character, uplifting and self love she found just from her struggles and how she uses her business to create this kind of love of self and being just enough for her.
I wanted to evoke my authentic self as best as I could with the idea in mind that my ideal client cared about the individual behind the flowers and design. Showcasing my art has been both terrifying and liberating at the same time. With every new project not only does my business experience grow, but I as well. It’s incredible.
Florist: April Baytan
Photographer: Mariel Henry