My words will hold no value if I were to say that life has been smooth sailing since 2008. In fact, when I first started noticing pigmentation fading on the tips of my fingers, I was at the peak of my life. I was finally surrounding myself with the right group of friends that challenged me to become a better person every single day. I had regained the trust of my family in the sense that I was working towards becoming something in the future. For those of you that know how my story goes in relation to my senior years in high school (CIC & DHS), you probably know how much getting my life back on track meant to me, my family and my close friends. From 2008 to the present, vitiligo has been growing alongside me as a person.
It may come as a surprise, but I am thankful for this rare condition day in and day out. It has both physically and mentally shaped me into the person I am today. It is my dream to be an inspiration to those that feel like a physical disability, whether it can be seen or felt, is a restriction from achieving dreams and goals in life. It has definitely served as a catalyst in my pursuit of achieving my aspirations.
I have learned the following three lessons from my journey with vitiligo thus far. I hope that you can resonate with them, regardless if you may have something that holds you back in life or not.
· People will mirror how you see, treat and respect yourself. If I feel sorry for myself for having something that is completely out of my control, others will feel sorry for me too. But if carry myself in a manner that completely overlooks the fact that I have vitiligo, others will look past it as well. The way people treat you is a direct replica of how you treat yourself. Be thankful for what you have and what you may not have at all times.
· Be comfortable in your own skin. What is under the skin matters more than what is above. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. What is utterly shocking to me is the amount of money people spend in fitting society’s definition of “looking perfect” and/or “beautiful.” From an accounting perspective, the money spent is considered a sunk cost. The people that truly care about you and that matter most in this world could care less how you look but instead, who you are as a person. Your physical appearance is guaranteed to depreciate over-time, but your inner-self will almost always appreciate if you care for it to.
· Your biggest weakness is your greatest strength. Simply put, this world has become increasingly competitive both in and out of the workplace. The best way to differentiate yourself is by focusing on mitigating your weaknesses and helping others to do so in the process. People may not remember your actions, your physical presence or your words, but they will always remember how you made them feel in the moment when it was all said and done.
I hope this blog post has served its purpose of inspiring you to be comfortable with whom you are as a person. If we could control every single aspect of how we look and/or feel, we would all look and act like angels. But that is what makes this life interesting. Some are blessed with beauty and others are blessed with knowledge. Then there are some that are blessed with neither. And it is often those people that have the least in this world that make the greatest difference and leave an everlasting impression in the lives of others. Let's strive to become one of them, regardless of what we may have or how we may look.