It’s been a while since I put fingers to keyboard and punched in what’s been on my mind. So grab a cup of tea or coffee, it’s going to be a long one.

       I was a late bloomer. My girlfriends blossomed and bloomed like pretty flowers at springtime when adolescence kicked in.  Adolescence was like having Amazon prime, some ladies  got their shipping on the same day. The longest it took was was next day service. Some, like me had no internet, hence we waited for our adolescent packages to come via carriage or a ship from the other side of Westeros. We clearly were not on the 20th century. By packages, I mean what Shakira sings about regarding the honesty of the hips, or that hideous name that I came across studying Biology. Mammary glands! Why in heavens would anyone call breasts ….. That name is too hideous! I digress.

        In high school, I saw long flowy hair. Some natural, others aided by chemicals. My hair was averse to nature and or chemicals. I gave it a try my first year of high school to no avail. Even the harshest chemicals could not tame this hair. I used to split my hair right in the middle then brush it. Let it be known that my hair was a mess. It did not survive the first term. Sigh* The hair had to go! Having short hair is not my first run at the rodeo. 

        My dental formula was a mess. You easily could calculate the area of each tooth and find it's square root while you were at it. The worst part about it, I loved to laugh! I still do. I laugh hard! My laughter is not pretty either. I don’t titter, or gently cover my mouth. My hands are busy waving in the air or clutching my ribs. At times the wave of my hands is a flag of apology especially when the waves of laughter are incessant. Your ears will be assaulted. You either join in or join in! It’s that infectious.  I don't laugh at people, we laugh together.  I sometimes slap my thigh hard, or snort, or do both simultaneously. My eyes crinkle, my nose stretches, half the time I am trying to catch my breath. When another surge comes in, I just fall down on the floor. It’s too much. My body convulses. Now picture all that with a dental formula that would have Pythagoras walking out the door.

      Let’s not talk about my chest. It was flat as a table, a plateau, a blackboard. Please add any other simile that you find suitable. I wore a vest like top, think sports bra that was famously known as a boob top! The irony! What boobs? It got to a point I started praying for them. Boy did I pray. God had placed me on the waiting list.

      The only package that seem to come early was ACNE! It still is the bane of my existence.Nowadays, I know how to tackle those little buggers but back then was a whole different story. Acne and fam would show up at the most in opportune moments. They never showed up at on a regular boring day. The gang  would show up on a day we had a high school FUNKEE, a function to my non- kenyan readers. I was in an all girls boarding school in Kenya. Funkees were everything. You got to leave the school to go for a function  where the members of the opposite sex were present. AHH BOYSS!! We sure did love the boys. Still do but... let's carry on. Some girls would press their skirts, others would press their hair, and I would press the sucker on my forehead. Life!

      I always maintained an upbeat persona through it all. Late packages be damned! I realized that being true to myself despite the physical is what matters. I sleeked back my short do, pressed more pimples, and kept on laughing like a seal.

      Eventually that adolescent package came through on the last stretch of my third year of high school. The package came with a bang!! No notice left at the post office, no tracking number, nothing. It arrived and made itself known. I woke up and BOOM boobs!! Hello ladies. Now I had to search for a bra! What was that contraption?? I had been praying for Dolly Partons’ and there they were. Shakira was right, hips don’t lie. They tell you the honest truth, like you need new pants and skirts. My molars had slowly started growing causing a tectonic shift. Gaps closed. Toothpicks had a new meaning to my life.

     A week ago, on a mildly clear evening, a friend and I were walking through Times Square and passed a group of teenage girls going on about their life doing what teenagers do. She mentioned she feels lucky she did not have to grow up in this post Kardashian, selfie crazed, image obsessed world as a teen. I pondered on that thought and it brought back the memories of my teenage years. What if I was a teenager in this present day? Where images stream through our phones and computers in billions. Ideals so high with the constant pressure to conform. Be! Act! Look like! Why not just be myself?

               Here’s the thing I have learnt about Self. Being self-confident is the ability to feel beautiful without someone needing to tell you you are. No validation needed. You are not a parking ticket. Once you accept yourself for who you are, you will not need to burden yourself with opinions of others. As women, we always find ourselves flawed. Oh my thighs are too big, my tummy looks like a pot of yams. My arms are so flabby. Look at my teeth!!  Another pimple!!? There is always something. We have someone splashing an idea of what we should look like or try to attain to look like every single day. It’s there when we are checking out at the grocery store, up on a billboard as we are driving or walking by. On our Instagram feeds with insanely cinched waists - trainers, teas that will miraculously make you look like a supermodel, contoured noses, chins, underarms, shoulders, veins! I heard you can now contour your chest, knees and legs and… Ok! This contour business is getting out of hand!

    You have someone you love dearly in your life right? Would you talk about them unkindly? Nope! Never! Then let’s be kind to ourselves. Whatever energy you put out there, the universe will internalize it and take it in. You spew negative, that's what you get back. Claim the positive and you are covered in confetti!! Yaassss...That is why I try to be kind to myself. Love myself and be kind to myself. Try because we have those days when you just feel blah! So shaking it off like Taylor is your best bet!  I am the only one living in this body. I might as well treat SELF the best way possible.

    You are always in control. You don’t like how something looks like? Change it. You want to lose those stubborn 10 pounds? Hit the gym. How you portray yourself to others is a blueprint of how they will perceive you. Silence your inner critic every time she tries to chime in. Her opinion is not welcomed. Embrace who you are. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Believe in self! Be kind to self! Love self! You are gorgeous! You are a Queen! You slay!!!

Lastly, take it all in, self-confidence, self-worth, self-love….. The only self you need to banish is Self - doubt! 

Thanks for stopping by.
NAMASLAY - The slay in me recognizes the slay in you!

Hat: HM

Bodysuit: Urban Outfitters

Skirt: HM