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"I've fallen in and out and back in love with my body. Growing up as a South Asian in a Eurocentric society, my features never seemed to align with their beauty standards--they were always a reminder that I didn't belong. But when I look in the mirror now, I love seeing my thick brows painted on my molasses skin. I'll never get tired of how my skin glows under the moon or the way the sun drips on my skin like honey. My full lips, wild hair, and deep brown eyes are nostalgic reminders of the place of my roots. All these things that once made me feel inferior are now the pieces of me I love most.
I've lost myself & found myself more times than I can count over the past few years. From experiencing trauma & nightmares to growing & healing, this earth has been my saving grace. I sent myself to South America. I picked up the lost pieces of my soul in Ecuador, Peru, & Chile. I sat by myself on the beach during monsoon season in South India. I delved into my spirituality in Thailand. I explored aboriginal art museums in Sydney. I filled my belly with the food of my ancestors in Sri Lanka & Singapore. I drove across the country with my best friend who constantly reminds me I am not weak. I am not damaged. I am powerful. I strutted through the streets of Milan. Watched sunrises peek through the banana leaves in Tanzania. Dreamt my way around Paris. Danced around Havana with a grin as large as the sun.
I found myself in a path I built on my own, not the one that was expected of me.
I found myself through other women who look like me. In being around others. In being by myself. In the beauty of the beings of this world and the earth that cares for them. What I've learned is that healing is not linear. Some days are better than others, but this earth will always be the light shining to pull us out of the darkness. These moments have taught me: I am strong. I am beautiful. I am independent. I am not what happened to me. I’ve seen how much can change with a little bit of time & a whole lotta self love. The depth at which you sink is the height at which you are capable of rising. She is learning. She is healing. She is rising. I am she