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Be You, Boo.

I don't remember a time when I wasn't labeled "The Weird Girl." I'm sure I got a few of you to smile when you read that, huh? "Chey, weird? Noooo." I mean, hey. I am. I'm not upset with it. When I was younger, though, it used to really hurt my feelings. I mean, really hurt my feelings. I didn't understand why girls didn't want to be my friend, why they didn't think I was "good enough" to sit with them at lunch, why they didn't like me. It was hard being a mixed girl in a school where 95% of the population was white. But, that was my entire educational life, really.

So, I just learned to deal.

Kids have this ability to just "deal with it." What I mean is, kids are selfless. When they're selfless, they have a want (or a need in their eyes) to make sure the people they care about are comfortable. So, they, in a sense, deem their feelings invalid because they believe that it will "add something extra" to other people's plates...& they don't want that. That weight, though, eventually catches up & everything comes crashing. You can only take but so much rejection before you feel that it's enough.

I remember countless conversations with my mom about self-worth. Because I was a kid like the one I mentioned above, I'd wait until the last possible second to tell her what was bothering me. I hated (I still do hate, but I'm getting better!) asking for help, but sometimes, it's absolutely necessary. So, through tears, I'd explain to her how I didn't understand why I was "different," why girls didn't like me, why they asked me "do you have white girl hair or black girl hair?" & I'm sure the blood boiled inside of her when she listened to me...because mother's feel the pain of their children nearly always. Her words were always the same, regardless of my age or year of school.

"Girls (or boys) who say mean things are just jealous. Do you understand the spirit you possess? They want to disarm that spirit, & break it because they are unhappy within themselves. But, that is not your problem. That is theirs, & you have to learn that you cannot change the ugly that they have. You must protect your spirit at all costs because it is bright. Mean little girls grow up to be mean women, so you cannot get rid of them, but you can learn how to deal with them. Tell em, 'Kick rocks & blow bubbles!' I'll meet them at the playground any day for you." ~MRP

I held onto her words, & they played in the back of head whenever I'd experience a "mean girl." Truthfully, though, it took me a long time to understand the meaning of what she said. I think I was 15 when it finally set it. But, man. When I finally understood the significance of her words, the game changed.

The year before I was 15, I experienced a very significant life-changing event which I credit for propelling me to fully accepting me as a human...flaws & all. It's eye-opening when you find comfort in your being. It's a new flower sprouting in a fresh pot of soil. & with that, is the reminder that self-acceptance, self-love, self-appreciation takes time. Everyone grows at different speeds. While we watch our friends sprout quicker, we must not be envious that we aren't progressing at the same time. We should give praise, encouragement, love! that they are moving in the right direction & that their life is unfolding in all the right ways. You have all the necessary tools...within make life the masterpiece you envision. God gave you YOUR life for a reason. He placed YOUR purpose within you for a reason. He ordered YOUR steps without mistake. Your time will come. You have to be comfortable & confident in yourself or you may never truly know all your worth. It’s a process, trust me, I definitely know. but, once you get to the point of realizing just how badass you are, you become unstoppable.

Be You, Boo. You're perfect just the way you are....pinky promise.

May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨

Cheyenne Pajardo

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