Day 1: Reaffirming Your Fly February Challenge- Fly Girls First Love
I am my first love because I’ve grown into the grace of accepting myself. I am weird. I tickle myself silly with my thoughts, sometimes. I enjoy my mental space. I enjoy my private thoughts. I enjoy the times that I have to pull myself together before I can go out into the word because people might not understand why I am laughing so hard when I’m all by myself.
I am my first love because I’m still committed to growth and development. My latter day is definitely greater than my former day. You can look at me and see a physical transformation, yes. But, if you knew me when I was younger, you definitely see a different me today than you did then. I’m far from perfect, but I’m in love with myself because I can see the progress and smile to myself. I feel proud of who I am becoming.
I am my first love because I’ve survived. I’ve survived physical and emotional abuse. I’ve survived rape. I am learning to thrive. To invest in myself and believe in myself despite the internal and external voices that say that it’s no use. It’s not worth it. In spite of the internal and external voices that say to just give up on my hopes and dreams. It’s too late to become my best self. I could never be the me that I see when I close my eyes. I love the part of me that has the glint in her eye and the steel in her back and that simply replies, “Watch me.”
I am my first love because in spite of what I’ve endured, I still believe in the kindness and goodness of people. I believe that there are far more good people than bad in the world. I have hope for the future. I try to encourage others. I want to be a source of life and inspiration to others. I want to use my inner strength to build people up and help them on their journey. I want to redeem the bad parts of my life by using them as inspiration for others to let them know that if I can make it, they can too. If I can use what I am and what I’ve been through to help somebody else, then it has all been worth it.
I’m in love with myself because I’ve come to learn and understand that all human beings have dignity and value simply because they are the dearly beloved children of the Most High God. I was valuable before I had any credentials, and before I earned a paycheck, and I retain my value despite the opinions and predilections of those around me. Nothing that has happened, or that will ever happen to me, can debase or devalue me. I am not what has happened to me. I am valuable. I am necessary and I am important.
Shannon Ikerd is a Logistics Coordinator and freelance writer from Lawrence, KS. Alumna of the University of Kansas, African/African-American Studies Department and American Studies Department she writes on topics of womanism, feminism, racism and politics in her blog: feelingwomanish.tumblr.com
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