As this is my first blog post ever, I would love to introduce myself: hello, I’m Treci. I’m co-owner of clothing brand ANIMO925 & a Makeup Artist. Also, this blog post may be a long one! Maybe because I’m finding myself having to condense 27 years’ worth of real life content into a few paragraphs, so bare with my journey.
Growing up, I faced life and challenges that shaped me into the person I became before discovering what it meant to accept and love myself. It can be a very strange thing to note, especially when you have to look deep within yourself and notice your flaws. Not that flaws are bad, just like our strengths, it’s part of what make us unique. But I wasn’t raised, I guess, traditionally? To this day, I’m unsure if this was just my unique upbringing or if this was common with other families.
I wasn’t brought up exposed to any physical affection from either of my parents, told I was beautiful, or made aware that loving who I am was an actual thing. I had absolutely no concept of self-love, let alone self-acceptance. Growing up, I always found myself trying way too hard to be liked by the other cool girls in the crowd; I never did fit the mold. It got to the point where I gave up trying but it didn’t stop me from shifting the blame on myself. “Something must be wrong with me,” or “I’m not pretty enough.” It could be a very isolating experience for an 8 year old, especially if they lack parental guidance/support in that department.
Fast forward to high school, I was starting to find myself a bit more, but still very lost. I was starting to experiment more with my clothing choices since I wasn’t given hand-me-downs anymore, but looking back, I dressed based on the trends and I was never fulfilled because that never embodied who I truly was. And I guess that stemmed from wanting people to like me; maybe if I dress similarly, they might like me more? But it was a start and, I didn’t know it at the time, but my main life project would be me finding fulfillment within myself. Who am I as a person? What am I passionate about? What are my hobbies? What is my true, unapologetically self like? These were all unanswered questions that I hadn’t even begun finding the answers to.
I used to censor and overthink almost everything I was about to say in fear that if I said the wrong thing, it might make others not want to talk to me. This was how insecure I was and I had no clue! I could think something is rude or think something was bullshit but I would never say that out loud because I gave others the power to validate me. I can’t say that much progress was made in high school because that would be a lie. I graduated and went off to college.
And to make this short for you, I didn’t find myself in college, either. It was a very tough period in my life at home and all that in conjunction with school simply did not help. I started finding myself once I left college. I started working full time and I’ve had countless jobs since then. Jobs that taught me how the real world is like. Some jobs taught me to not take shit from other people (in this case, it was co-workers,) others taught me how to value myself because of the disrespect I had experienced on the job, and others made me realize when I was being taken advantage of. At this point, I was already making my own money so I was able to go shopping and buy things that I genuinely liked. I started carving this sculpture of the woman I wanted to be. I dyed my hair, discovered makeup for the first time, I chopped my hair off, grew it back, got tattoos, pierced my nipples; I finally started pursuing my interests. I noticed I was happier because I learned to assert myself with people. I learned to set boundaries. I also learned not to take people at face value. How someone comes across doesn’t define who they are. I used to think that if someone comes across as nice, they must be a good person. Oh, the naiveté…
I’m 27 years old now and if I could give any of you struggling with self acceptance/soul issues, it would be this: do what makes you feel happiness. Do what brings you contentment. You, not your momma, grandma, friend, boyfriend…you. Feed into your soul, not into other people’s expectations. And when it comes to making friends and meeting new people: listen to your gut. Your gut will never lie to you. I believe in the benefit of the doubt but once you’ve been proven wrong twice, move the fuck on. Remember that any energy you have around you will affect your own. They say that if you wonder whether or not someone likes you, you’ll know. If not, you’ll be confused. And I think that rings true in any human interaction.
I want to leave you with one last thing: think of your identity and soul as the batter to a cake. If it’s messed up, nothing you top over it can fix it or make it better. You need to perfect the foundation of that cake so that everything else can fall into place. Take care of yourselves and your souls.
If you have any further questions about my self identity/acceptance journey, drop it down in the comments ☺