A blog by Amanda Alcantara

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Greatest Test Is Owning Up To Your Mistakes

The world will call you an ugly brown girl, one who isn't as beautiful as her light-skinned primas. The world will tell you that you only got that award because you're the token one in the room, that you're filling a quota. The world will tell you that your thighs are an invitation to violence, that your smile is an invitation to being called untrustworthy. The world will tell you that your mouth is a well where ideas need to rot. And when you tell them that "no," that your mouth is a river where ideas flow, it'll smack you across the face in an attempt to shut you up.

The world will tell you you ain't shit. And it'll do so in violent ways and in subtle ways and you'll internalize it in a way that when you make it anywhere that feels good, you'll feel like an imposter. When you make it anywhere that feels comfortable, you'll feel like you're undeserving. When you begin to let your body be the soft creature it is meant to be, the pain you once felt in your skin trying to burn you alive, will come back, begging to be remembered, begging you to run back to those flames.

This is what it's like being a woman of color in this world. A constant negation of your humanity and worth.

Learning to let go of that is hard. Yet unlearning what was taught and learning what actually is is the only way out of the flames.

You're beautiful. You're intelligent. Your sharp gaze and your thicker-than-a-snicker thighs are strong yet tender, even when the wrong eye contact can make you feel as hard as a cutting board that withstands all blades. You are worthy. You are worthy. You are worthy of love and joy. But mostly, you are worthy to just be without having to prove yourself constantly.

And when you learn that, when you learn that you're not a walking mistake, the hardest part can feel like forgiving actual mistakes you've made and will continue to make. Especially those you can't excuse yourself out of, those that make you realize the humanity that exists that you, the ability for error. Own up to the error, and forgive yourself.

Belleza, a friend would call me that all the time and I miss it. Belleza: denying yourself room to make mistakes is denying yourself too. You weren't put on this earth be perfect. If anyone makes you feel terrified of yourself and terror of your ability to error, the kind of terror where owning up to your mistakes — even the kind that don't emotionally harm anyone — means being made to feel less than human, the kind of terror that promises to hurl you back into the lie that you ain't shit, run.

Because above all, you are real. And real is far from perfect. And it is still worthy af.

And when the time comes when they'll try to shame you, to call you flaky or to question your skills, to rub your errors in your face, say "yes, I did that shit," with your head high because you know you are so much more than your mistakes. 
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