This post is a part of our series “If I Had Listened", in which we're reached out to strong-minded women we admire to tell us about a moment they chose to trust their gut and follow a different path despite other people's opinion.
We met Eden a few months ago and she was one of the first participants for this project. We are happy to let you know now that she is also about to tag along in the Scandaleuse journey, as we will be combining services very soon. Read her story below!
If I had listened, then… I wouldn’t be here today
Before I embraced myself in all of my authentic glory (weirdness, flaws, and all), I was consumed by an inner dialogue that incessantly told me I was a “waste of space”.
If I listened to this inner dialogue, then I wouldn’t be alive.
My journey towards embracing who I am is a colourful one, but its colourful spectrum is not limited to the pastels and vibrant colours of a beautiful life.
Instead, the spectrum of my life includes dark and shadowy aspects that painted my imbedded need to conform to someone proper, petite, and poised. Someone who “should” fit perfectly into a designated box.
Well, the “rule follower” in me cared what the “rules” were. The rule follower in me cared how I was being perceived by others. The rule follower in me allowed my uniqueness to be dimmed by the rigid regulations of the external reality I faced.
The attempt to conform my wild and extraordinary imagination caused me to feel weird, othered, rejected, and unlovable. My thirst for knowledge and inclination to pursue academics caused me to be made fun of and labeled as a “know it all”. The comparison of myself against bodies that were slender and airbrushed caused me to look at my body with disgust and hatred.
On an ongoing basis, I would find myself tightly constricting my stomach with a tensor bandage with the desperate need to morph my body into someone “beautiful”.
I was trying to conceal myself, which was perpetuated by a deeply ingrained desire to be someone “different”, someone “acceptable”.
It truly felt like the parts of my existence were being pulled by its threads, ripped apart, and shattered. Looking into these tattered fragments of myself, all I could see was someone who was broken, someone who didn’t belong, and (like broken things) someone who should be tossed away.
The journey towards the reclamation of who I am was not an easy one. My desire to ignore and disobey the toxic negativity that filled my head required me to care just enough about myself in order to step in and survive. I’ll never forget the moment that I decided not to listen, the moment I decided to survive.
One step at a time, I learned to appreciate the beauty of my uniqueness, the importance of my sentiment, and the perfection of my flaws.
I am here, having a human experience and contributing to the world in a way that no one else can because no one else is me. Step by step, moment by moment, I allowed myself to re-invigorate my imagination. Yes, I do believe in unicorns, mermaids, goodness, peace, and love. Allowing myself to indulge in the pleasures of learning new things and expanding my mind has sufficiently equipped me with a unique skillset that helps my clients do the same. Most recently (partly with the help of Scandaleuse Photography), I have decided to love my body the way it is and find beauty in the way that it twists and turns, whilst simultaneously finding deep appreciation for the adventures my body brings me on.