Getting my groove on in life and in leopard

by byanika on 02/06/2011 · 86 comments

in By Anika,leopard,self worth,stripes

 Hi Sweethearts!

Do you know that feeling of getting your mojo on in life? I am 32 and I finally feel that I am on a roll. This is evident in my fashion, in how often I laugh, in how often I do dance offs with my self in a mirror, in how many times a day I think kind thoughts about my self.

You may think I am just a late bloomer, and in a way maybe I am, but that is not the whole story. As you know I am an honest person, in my blogging, in my fashion, in my life. I have spent my life so far surviving and overcoming abuse that I was subjected to growing up. I survived largely thanks to my mum who has fought fiercely for me every step of the way, but also because I always had a voice inside of me whispering sweet promises of the woman I have become today.

I have survived by challenging and redefining every negative perception of my self, perceptions I had internalized to the point where they became my truth, nearly drowning out the whisper inside me.

As I battled my depression, anxeity and self harming I became aware of how detached my truth about my self and the reality of who I am was:

I felt like a failure every time I failed at something. Today I just try again.

I thought I would always be lonely. Today I dare to reach out. I am often the helper, but I also dare to accept help.

I was told I was so ugly that others were uncomfortable being in my presence. As it turns out, this is not true. I am at a place today where I can accept a compliment without believing the one complimenting me to be ridiculing me.

I was ashamed to be curvy. I was ashamed to have ugly feet and hands. Today I can look at my self in a mirror and be happy about my rack, and be ok with my wide hips. I am wearing red nailpolish for the first time in my life.                                                                        

I grieved that I was undesirable as a woman. Now I feel sensual every day. Can you handle this jelly?

I believed that I should remove my self from this world, or at least be invisible. As I reclaimed my self worth this was mirrored in my fashion. Hello leopard/stripes/colour. Hello fashionblogging!

I felt I was responsible for my uglyness. Today I know I am responsible for my happiness.

So, here I am today. I know who I am. I keep centering my self. I am at peace. I am happy to be me, for the first time in my life. I keep moving forward, walking through my fears, dreaming bigger, chosing to feel hopeful about my future.

What is next, you may wonder? I`ll tell you what is next for me.

I am getting my groove ON! In loud prints. Damn right.

The oufit: I sewed this dress this morning. It is made from a scarf, a top and a dress. I wanted to sew something discreet and proper, and I am rather pleased with the result. (Bling, H&M and TopShop. Sandals, Skopunkten)

 

Tell me my friends, how are you getting your groove on in your own life and fashion?

 

 I would love to connect with you!

 anikack@gmail.com   @AnikaByAnika   Facebook

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather FonsecaNo Gravatar
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June 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Believe it or not it gets even better at 40! I’m glad you’re happy in your own skin. You only get one, so we might as well enjoy it. I think for me having children made me realize how much my body did for me and that I needed to spend less time thinking I was fat and unattractive I was and more time appreciating myself, my health and my beauty.

Love your dress! I’m still amazed you do all that by hand.

Love,
Heather
http://thestyleconfessions.com/
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2 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Honey, I believe you and I am so exited to experience the fab 40`s! I am so glad that you recognize what a wonder your body is, to give birth must feel like such a miracle. I will experience that too someday I hope. Big hugs to you from me.

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3 Fajr | Stylish ThoughtNo Gravatar
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June 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm

This post is beyond beautiful and I applaud you for not only getting your mojo back but sharing it with us. We all go through things and have to overcome self-doubt and loathing and I love how honest you are, it’s also hella sexy!
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4 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Thank you so much my lovely. You are amazing, you know I fancy you! LOL. I love being hella sexy! Big hugs to you from me.

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5 Berenice ParraNo Gravatar
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June 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I am fighting very hard not to cry while typing this comment. This is probably MY ALL TIME favorite of all your posts dear. The main reason is that I can relate to many of the feelings you shared here with us. I have SO much respect for your daring to share your experiences in this regard. I used to think that ‘beautiful’ people (i.e. thin, fair skinned, tall and pretty persons, whatever that means) had no trouble with their self esteem, this was during my teenage years. Later on, I found out that many of those ‘beautiful’ people I knew/know have to face those challenges too, or sometimes their ‘beauty’ is only superficial. Skin deep, who knows what’s going on? Of course, this isn’t always the case. My point is, that it’s extremely difficult to overcome this series of ideas and preconceptions about whether or not we’re ‘beautiful’ or not. All the pressure from society and the misconceptions we receive since childhood make it even harder. The bottomline, as you very well put it, is that it is US who decide our worth, it is up to US to love ourselves because if you don’t love yourself first, nobody else ever will and ultimately, what the others feel about you doesn’t matter much, in the long run. The only important things are the love of your friends and family and mostly, the love you have for YOURSELF. I applaud you and join you in celebrating the sheer joy, the complete and utter bliss of being ourselves and LOVING/ADORING OURSELVES FOR THAT. JUST BECAUSE WE’RE ALIVE AND WE ARE HERE TO SEE ANOTHER BETTER DAY. <3<3<3
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6 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm

My darling friend, thank you so very much. I second every wise word of yours. I love you, as you know. Because we`re worth it! :D Hugs.
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7 LauraNo Gravatar June 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm

It’s gorgeous and I love your shoes!
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8 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Thank you! xx
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9 LinaNo Gravatar June 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I can relate to every word you write. You touch me and inspire me. And you are hands down the most beautiful person I know because of it.

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10 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm

You know I feel you, and that I love you. Big hugs from me to you. xx
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11 The Girlie BLoggerNo Gravatar June 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Glad you’ve got your mojo on! You look beautiful!

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12 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Thank you darling! xx
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13 JoyNo Gravatar
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June 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Anika,

I wish I had your wisdom, maturity, and positive outlook when I was 32! I agree with Heather, it only gets better — when you reach 40 you’ll be a force of nature! Yes! I’m happy for you. :)
I also wish you would write a memoir/autobiography. It’s so terribly sad to read about how you suffered and yet you are helping others and giving them courage. I for one would like to read more about your story (plus memoirs and autobiographies are my favorite genre!)

On a lighter note, that’s a very pretty dress! I love the sun and the warmth and brightness of your personality shining in these photos! :)
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14 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Thank you so much for your support my lovely friend. When I hit 40 – watch out! LOL. Like I tweeted, I am thinking of writing. I think I have a few books in me. Will dedicate one to you! Hugs xx
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15 WendyBNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 12:22 am

Looking good in leopard! And feeling good too, clearly…

“I felt like a failure every time I failed at something.” — that’s a bad habit of mine, I must confess.
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16 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Well, yes. And yes. LOL. We all feel like that sometimes I suppose, I know I will at times for the rest of my life. The difference now is that I don`t give up like I did before. Go Wendy! Hugs.
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17 Ashe//Dramatis PersonaeNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 12:50 am

Anika, this post is amazing! For what it’s worth, I have so many beautiful, intelligent, strong, confident women… and the 30s made them blossom as well. I think it’s really a magical time in a gal’s life– live it up and love it! You deserve to feel all the great ways you do now.

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18 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I know exactely what you mean darling, and it is such a wonderful thing! So many of my girlfriends are blossoming in their 30`s, and I think quite a few are surprised at their own strength. I feel like now we are entering the playground, so let`s get to it! Thank you so much for your comment. Big hugs to you.
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19 kerryNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 1:28 am

Anika – This post is amazing, thankyou for sharing.
You have this wonderful aura that shines though your words and your photos – you are truly inspiring. xox

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20 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Thank you so much Kerry, I feel humble and glad reading your kind words to me. Sending you big hugs xxx
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21 GRIT & GLAMOURNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 1:30 am

I’m not 40 yet, but echoing Heather’s sentiment, by the time you hit 35, you truly won’t give a flying damn fig about what anyone thinks, and you will be even more gorgeous, more wise, more audacious, and more unapologetic! It took me a while to realize that mediocrity and unhappiness is not acceptable, that moving on is GOOD and necessary. I think it started to materialize in my head at around 34.

I finally found my mojo and my groove when I stopped extending second, third, and fourth chances to people who had let me down. When I stopped supporting their dreams and started supporting my own. When I dared myself to go so far outside of my comfort zone that uncomfortable/unpredictable became normal. Since then, I have had the most amazing, prosperous, adventurous journey being ME and not a play-it-safe, non-adventurer as I was once told in the past. Life is too short to live it according to others’ opinions and expectations. As you now know, the moment you start really following your own truth, your own passions, everything falls into place.

I love your writing, Anika, your humor, and your proclamation of self-acceptance. AMEN, sista! Love it! Rock on babe!
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22 Marie DeneeNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 1:43 am

You know, I am hitting my 30′s this year. Even as a blogger, I have had my moments- but it took me almost loosing everything (my job, my apartment, my mind) to figure out what a fabulous person I am and can be… Your comment made me love you that much more…

Get it darlin and thank you for setting an example…
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23 GRIT & GLAMOURNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Aw, thanks so much Marie! And thank you for being quite the shining example yourself. You are such a powerhouse!
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24 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm

You are all such amazing women! Such a beautiful bouquet of powerful, insightful, fierce, warm and funny women. You all rock my stockings on a daily basis. That is a lot of runs in my stockings! :D I love you guys. Mwuah all over the place.
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25 THE-LOUDMOUTHNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

This is amazing, V. You’re an inspiration.
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26 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Honey, the figs are`a flying and I don`t care. It feels so incredible to be FREE! YES!

My comfort sone now is also the unpredictable, and I wouldn`t have it any other way. I am living my life to the fullest, and I am so glad to know and see you are doing the same. It is a deeply moving thing to witness, my friend. You know how I feel about you. I love love love you! AAAAmen!
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27 Marie DeneeNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 1:40 am

Your post brought me to the edge of tears honey. I cannot say enough how amazingly fabulous I think you are and appreciative I am for you sharing this. We all have an amazing story and I am sooo happy to have had you share yours with us.

Thank you for this!

<3
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28 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Thank you Mariee. I am so glad we are friends. I love and believe in you. You are an inspiration to me, and to many more I am sure. I love getting to know you better! Hugs.
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29 CyrillynnNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 2:06 am

This is a lovely post. Quotes that stood out:

“I grieved that I was undesirable as a woman. Now I feel sensual every day. Can you handle this jelly?”

“I felt I was responsible for my uglyness. Today I know I am responsible for my happiness.”

I am a very late bloomer (I’m 41) and I know what you mean about discovering your mojo and accepting who you are late in life. It took me all of my 30′s into my 40′s to finally really know myself. This happened right after my father died. My father was my guiding force and when he passed unexpectedly (I was 34 at the time), I felt that I had not done enough while he was alive. I especially felt bad that I never got married so that he could have a grandchild from his eldest daughter.

But like you Anika, I learned to let go and I accepted that I just needed to be myself. If I was going to be the cool aunt and eternal bachelorette, then so be it! I was going to be fashionable and travel the world and own my life. So, once I let go, I met my wonderful husband and now I have a beautiful child, in whom I can see my father more and more everyday. I feel the best I’ve every felt in my life!

Lovely lady, keep on discovering yourself and loving your life because it only gets better!!!!

xoxo
Cyrillynn
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30 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Hi Cyrillynn, darling. I was very moved by your words, thank you for sharing. I see what you mean, reevaluating your whole life after an earth shattering experience like what you went through. I have had some eye openers my self, and I am so proud and grateful that I now dare to act on my insights. I am daring to let go, to let it rip, and preparing my self for my next big love. I am so glad you found yours. Hugs to you.
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31 MJNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 3:32 am

This was beautiful!! I loved every single word you put into this post and it definitely touched something in me because I can relate! I’m approaching 30 and I’m finally trying to find my groove and put those negative thoughts at bay. For a long time I was living my life for other people and when I found that I wasn’t happy, I had to muster up all the courage in the world to pursue what makes me happy as a person, regardless of what other people thought,including those close to me. It isn’t an easy road, but when the world sees you finally getting your groove on, they can’t help but be happy for you and even inspire them to go after what makes them happy. You are responsible for your happiness and I am so thankful you found yours!

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32 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Hi MJ, thank you so very much. It is exactely as you say, it is about courage. I am so glad you are going for it too, otherwise, who else is going to do what you do best; being you?! I am rooting for you honey! Hugs.
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33 FASHION TALESNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 4:50 am

Darling Anika,
Thank you for sharing this very personal post and experiences. This is beautifully written and so moving to read. As I read this it made me think about the thoughts that I had in my head long ago, about how I felt in my 20′s and how I feel and think presently. I hear my mother saying to me …” just wait you will feel differently in your 30′s.” I’m 30 now, and I must admit, I have never felt better, more confident and comfortable in my body and really just being myself, not for anyone else. I do not care what people think like I used to… and well, I’m just enjoying being me! I commend you on this triumphant stage, because there are some folks who never come close to realising their self-worth. * Big hug to you dear* for sharing this intimate story.
love,
Madison
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34 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Sweetheart, it really is true, the 30`s is our playground! I love it, and I am so glad you are feeling it too. I love love love your confidence, but then, I love all of you, as you know :) Hugs and kisses! And yes, how about Tuesday for skyping?
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35 Kirstin MarieNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 5:20 am

I love it! You are so talented, lady! I can hand stitch – sewing machines scare me! You look fabulous. I wouldve never guessed you were 32, (not that that’s old at all-it’s not!!). You look like you are in your twenties. Loves to you, sweets!

Xo
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36 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Honey, I sew by hand! Hand stiching is all you need! LOL. About the age, it is so funny, I get that a lot, and I actually think I look my age and am fine with that. But, there is nothing wrong with looking like I am in my 20`s :D . Hugs to you!
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37 ConsiderMeLovelyNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

Anika, your transparency is beautiful! I have had points of my life where I suffered a lot of self-hate, but I too am glad that I have overcome! Thank you for sharing your inner and outer beauty!
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38 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Hi sweetheart, I am so glad that you have too! You are beautiful, inside and out. I am so glad we have connected. Love, Anika
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39 SACRAMENTONo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 10:00 am

I feel so proud of you. After the battle of life you have come out glorious , richer and wiser, because you can understand the pain of others.
I love you, and one day I will hug you; and in this hug we both will be at ahome.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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40 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Thank you for that Sacramento. It is a gift, a hard one to carry, but it is a gift. I am so looking forward to that hug, I felt you so strongly when I read it that it brought tears to my eyes. I give thanks that you are in my life, and I love you so. xxxxxxxxx
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41 MyFavouriteThingsNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 10:21 am

Kjære Anika, dette var sterk lesning! Det er så flott hvordan du deler dine erfaringer på godt og ikke minst vondt og viser alle at det går an å komme ut av depresjon og selvhat, og finne kjærligheten til seg selv og troen på seg selv igjen! Jeg er sikker på at du hjelper mange med å gjøre dette! Og så blir jeg så glad for at du har det så bra med deg selv nå, og det vises! Stor klem til deg!
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42 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Hei kjære deg, tusen takk for dine ord. Det er jo sterke ting, men jeg velger å tørre å være ærlig om det, fordi jeg vet at vi jo alle har vår egen reise. Jeg håper at det kan styrke andre, som du sier. Du er så god og søt! Håper det står bra til med deg? Gode klemmer til deg fra meg xx
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43 OfeliaNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

First of all; I love the combination of prints, blue and black.
Second you have a strong, fighting spirit to be able to overcome all the negativism that you were surrounded by.
You are a special person because you were able to rise above all of that and found the way to love and accept yourself which is part of all of our journeys.
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44 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Thank you sweetheart! I never used to mix black and blue, but now I really love the combo too. Thank you for your kind words and your support. You are wonderful, and I am so glad that we have connected, and that we can voyage toghether via the web! Hugs.
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45 Lee OliveiraNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm

One of the greatest reason I adore you and your style of course its because you are so confident on your own skin.
Keep feeling like that! now… leopards, stripe and digital print.. Tick! Tick and Tick! love it
lee x
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46 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I will! Now I just have to make sure I don`t get full of my self! :D Thank you so much Lee, you are such a lovely person. “Tick, tick and tick.” So funny! Am giggeling over here :) Hugs to you.
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47 Laura ConnellNo Gravatar June 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for sharing your feelings and experience with us. Having the courage to speak about your transformation can help lots of other women struggling with the same issues. All our happiness comes from within – until we realize that we can never be happy. I’m so inspired that you have suffered so and have come out on top!
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48 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Thank you so much dear Laura. That is why I choose to be honest, scary as it is. It is my hope that others may take some chutzpah from my posts and use it in their own lives. Lots of hugs for you!
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49 KarenNo Gravatar
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June 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Anika,

You are so beautiful – in every possible way. I can’t imagine it being uncomfortable for anyone to be in your presence. You are such a welcoming and open person, with so much love and joy in you. I was never abused so to speak, but I suffered from both verbal and physical bullying in school that was so bad that my mother had to pull me out and transfer me to another school (one girl threw a full can of soda at my head). It was daily and I put up with it, because like you, I felt I was responsible for my ‘ugliness” and that I deserved everything I was getting. I internalized all of it and spent much of my adolescence in self-loathing, thinking that I was ugly and unworthy of love or admiration, or really anything good that happened to me. Like you, I have also struggled (and still struggle) with anxiety, and (this is difficult to share because I am programmed to always fear judgment) I am recovering from pretty bad compulsive skin picking (gross, I know) and hair pulling. Any time I would see a bit of dry skin or an errant hair I would pick at it, constantly trying to make myself more perfect by ridding myself of the bits I found unacceptable, all the while causing myself physical and emotional pain and making the area in question worse than when I started, causing a self-perpetuating cycle. Once I began to accept and love myself and my body, I was able to let go of the picking. I still find myself habitually picking at a cuticle here or there, especially in moments of anxiety or when I feel judged, but I recognize the behaviour and stop, remembering that I don’t need this in my life any more because I have learned to love myself and every part of me – even the parts that aren’t perfect or ideal. Those who try to tear us down do so because they are insecure with some part of themselves, and they can’t feel better without making someone feel worse. Perhaps they see something of themselves in us, and instead of directing that hatred inward, because it is too painful, they impose it on others, people who are softer than they are and who will absorb the pain of it. I forgive my bullies and feel sorry for them, because I don’t think that they will ever come to the amazing realization of themselves as I have come to. Thank you for being so brave and for sharing all of this, Anika. You are beautiful.

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50 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Darling, I was really moved reading your words. Thank you so much for sharing, for your bravery, because that is what it is. I can so relate. I have been self harming most of my life. Eating disorders, cutting, suicide attempts, all of it. I have only slept normally for a year, and I still struggle with breakfast every morning. When I notice these things getting worse is when I know it is time to take a step back and recenter my self. I will never be able to heal completely from my wounds, they are too deep, but I know how to live with them, how to manage them. That is the key for me, and after much grieving I have accepted that I must live with my scars. You are beautiful as well. Much love to you!
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51 vanessaNo Gravatar
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June 4, 2011 at 3:16 am

I’m glad at how honest you are about your past. I used to believe terrible things about myself, and now I’ve learned to love myself. You look hot in these prints girl! Also, ‘m quite proud of my curves too. I will openly admit I have one hell of a rack. : )
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52 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Hi sweet Vanessa, thank you for that. It is hard being this honest, but it is worth it. I am so glad you love your self, you know, we all love you so! And, yes, you do have a very very very nice rack. Yauza! Hugs!
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53 meliNo Gravatar June 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

You shine, girlie.

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54 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I do? Thank you so much! :D Hugs.
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55 MarissaNo Gravatar
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June 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm

It’s your come hither/eff you photo! Love it! It makes me so angry to hear how people belittled you. You are so beautiful inside and out, and I’m glad you’ve finally come to realize it!
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56 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:36 pm

It sure is darling! I love that you love it LOL. You are so fab. Thank you so much for your support! Mwuah!
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57 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Sweetheart, I am having trouble commenting on your blog, my pc can`t handle disqus, but I just want you to know that you do read your blog! I am so happy that you made lalm last week, you are so talented my lovely. Mwuah!
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58 MarissaNo Gravatar
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June 20, 2011 at 4:53 am

Ugh! I’m so sorry your having trouble with Disqus. It’s funny – I’ve never had trouble with it myself, but I know that a ton of people do. Looks like it may be time to look into a new commenting system. Well, thank you for trying to comment and for your sweet tweet today. :)
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59 FrancaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Such a beautiful post, Anika!
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60 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Thank you so very much, Franca!
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61 suzanneNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 1:25 am

i’m sitting in a starbucks ,reading this post, reading the comments, and holding back tears. THANK YOU for writing such a wonderfully poignant and touching post. your honesty is infectious and i love the transparency! it’s so weird how many of us struggle with accepting ourselves, and (so i hear) once you hit a certain age you just stop caring. i’m still working on it, trying to not fit into the mold of where the world expects me to be at this age. i’m proud of myself and my accomplishments but at the same time i tear myself to pieces for not being married, with kids, owning a home, having a ton of money in the bank. is that even reality?!?? daily i tell myself to let it go and, slowly but surely, that spirit of negativity and worthlessness is melting away.

thank you again; your post really resonates with so many people, and you have bettered the world by sharing your words.

-suzanne
awkwardly chic
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62 AnikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Thank you so much Suzanne, I am really moved by your words. I think these things are a part of the human experience, something we all have to overcome, in order to be better people, be the best ourself we can be. I know what you mean about failing the standard in a soceity. I am 32, getting divorced (but staying friends), renting a flat, no money saved and I have no children. Not a success story if I look at my life in that perspective. But, I don`t, I choose the perspective where the story of my life is me voyaging through phases in my life, voyaging towards my self. This is how I am able to deal with all of the jugdement that I feel from my surroundings without crumbeling. It is up to me to define, same as it is up to you do define your life and your story. Go you! Hugs.
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63 AmbujiNo Gravatar June 5, 2011 at 5:27 am

Anika first a big hug for your bravery, resilience, strength and beautiful spirit. You have survived horrific travesties but as I have said before not become jaded or cynical. This is a true reflection of your inner beauty. It requires herculean efforts to overcome life’s difficulties and probably they will still leave an indelible mark on our spirits (I can say that from personal experience as I have also been through many a dips in life and still at times feel the scars.) However, a person like you inspires me to have a lightness of spirit, gain strength from the past and look forward!
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64 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Ambu, thank you so much for the hug, it feels wonderful. Can you feel mine to you? Like I have said before, I feel that you see me, and I know that is because you have scars of your own. You are so beautiful, in every way, and I am so blessed to know you. I think of you often, relating to you in my life outside the web. That is how much you impact me, darling. Love, Anika
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65 anita riotNo Gravatar June 5, 2011 at 10:44 am

you went through so many things that I went or am still going through. It is such a shame that we can be pushed down so far to lose our selves, thus it being so hard to climb back up and feel good about our selves. You are a true inspiriation Anika. I am so glad to see you break through all ofthose obsticles in your way. You are truly beautiful!! In all ways and in every sense of the word. Thanks for doing what you do!

xoxo
A_riot
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66 AnikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 5, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. You know, as hard as it is to be as honest as I am it is so worth it. I do it because I know we all deal with similiar challenges, and what I want to do is to show anyone looking that it is possible to overcome, to heal, to live. I am sending lots of love and strenght to you. Keep believing in your self, and know that I believe in you. Love, Anika
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67 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Honey I wanted to tweet one of your posts but was unsure of your twitter handle? Can I have it pretty please?
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68 anita riotNo Gravatar June 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

Oh cool. Yes of course :) its @anitariott :)
x.

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69 JamillahNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Anika, you are the most wonderful light. I totally remember in my younger days being put into therapy and my therapist asking, “do you not like yourself?” and I totally was appalled by this question, b/c my knee jerk reaction was that question is stupid, but I broke down! I totally broke down because once point-blank asked this question I had to answer it and the answer was I didn’t like myself. And now with a little age I totally like myself more and I really appreciate all the sharing you do on your struggles with self-worth and self acceptance. It’s not easy and of course I’m still working on it, but I will never forget that young girl who hated herself sitting in therapy and finally admitting it. Oh gawsh now I’m all emotional, but really I just wanted to share my experience with you because you do WONDERS for me really. LOVE YOU.

As an aside. Your dress is brilliant I love the leopard mix. You are beautiful.

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70 AnikaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Jamillah darling, thank you so much! I can so relate to what you are saying about sitting in the therapists office. What I learned was that jugdement etc can only affect me if I secretely agree. That was a major lesson. I work everyday to uphold my self worth in different areas of my life. It is a process, like you say. One of the most moving and heartbreaking moments in therapy for me was when my therapist asked me to find my self, to visualize where my younger self was. I immediately saw my self floating under water, drowning, trapped. Then she asked what I wanted to do to my younger self. What I visualized doing was reaching down in the water, stroaking my cheek, and gently lifting my self out of the water. I cried so hard in that moment, grieving my life and that girl. I still sometimes think of her, but am so grateful I am not in that place anylonger. I love you my friend. Thank you so much for your honesty. Hugs to you.
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71 THE-LOUDMOUTHNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm

“I always had a voice inside of me whispering sweet promises of the woman I have become today.”

“I felt I was responsible for my uglyness. Today I know I am responsible for my happiness.”

This was exactly what I needed to read today… thank you!

“I wanted to sew something discreet and proper, and I am rather pleased with the result. ”

And that, of course, made me giggle. :)
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72 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Oh, I am glad my friend. As for the giggeling, I knew you would get it :) I was giggeling when I wrote it :D . Hugs!

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73 RaginiNo Gravatar June 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm

First of, HUUUUGS! How could anyone ever find you ugly? You are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen and I am completely smitten with you! As for abuse, oh I understand oh so well :( So many many ((((huuugs)))) Also, the first thing I noticed about this post was the nailpolish! It looks so good on you!
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74 AnikaNo Gravatar
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June 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Thaaaaank you! They feel so good! You know I am smitten with you to my lovely! Oh yes. I am sorry that you understand what I am talking about, but, I hope you also know just how wonderful you are. No one has the right to harm us. As for the nail polish, thank you! Feels so good to be in colour. Love you, Anika
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75 Best Of Palm BeachNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 6, 2011 at 3:07 am

OMG Anika!! sorry I got to read this post kinda late but I am glad I did! Amazing I admire you so much for opening up about your struggles and the self harm, it takes such courage to open up about it and be on the path you are on. I too really became comfortable with who I am in my 30s. I don’t know what it is but I just knew who I was, what I liked and what I would not put up with. I would never go back to my 20s although obviously I learned then what I know today! You are so inspiring girl! I am so blessed I get to interact with you!

xo
Veronica
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76 LilianNo Gravatar June 6, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Hello Anika… Your post is amazing! I am touched with the things you have shared. I can see my own feet in your shoes. Thanks to you, you gave me enough confidence..
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77 BellaNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Anika, it’s posts like these that make me keep coming back to your blog! How utterly inspiring and thought-provoking! I love it when you say, “I felt I was responsible for my ugliness. Today I know I am responsible for my happiness.” That is so true for so many of us. I feel it’s not till a woman wakes up and realizes that she cannot blame anyone for her unhappiness, that she alone is responsible for her statement of contentment, that she is able to live her life the way it’s supposed to be lived. After all, life is passion, life is laughter, life is embracing who you are, without reservation. Personally, I find myself experiencing moments when I’m not completely happy with how I look or how something fits. However, the feeling soon passes when I remind myself that no matter what, I am beautiful. And if I feel beautiful, I see myself as beautiful, and that’s what counts. So sister, get your groove on, and more importantly, get your groove on in loud prints! You are an inspiration to us all!

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78 JenmarieNo Gravatar
Twitter:
June 7, 2011 at 1:05 am

Girl, you preach it! I love how confident you are, as I’ve said so many times before! The dress you made is simple perfect. Love you!

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79 KatieNo Gravatar June 8, 2011 at 11:36 am

Oh Anika! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and this is the first time I’ve commented. This post moved me so much!
(Hi, my name is Katie, by the way!)
I’m 35 and I’m still struggling with my self-esteem. I thought it would naturally get easier as I got older, but often I feel like I’m going backwards! I have a craft blog, and recently I’ve become interested in altering/sewing clothes, but I feel uncomfortable posting about them because I don’t want to show pictures of my body. It seems so silly when I type it out like that! But that’s how I feel.
You’re an inspiration to me to continue the path to loving myself for who I am. Please don’t ever stop blogging!
xx Katie.

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80 MaryamNo Gravatar June 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm

WOW!! You’re amazing!! I’m so happy I found your blog!!!

I just started my blog, check it out, I hope you like it!

Love,
maryam

http://athomewithmaryam.blogspot.com
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81 DeeNo Gravatar June 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm

You are so, so, so beautiful, in every possible way. Thank you for sharing your story, and being such an inspiration.
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82 DuskNo Gravatar June 12, 2011 at 3:19 am

You are a generous beautiful soul Anika. A beautiful woman in every way.

I felt I was responsible for my uglyness…

I hope I don’t offend you by saying this but yes… you were responsible, not for your ugliness (it didn’t exist) but for allowing yourself to feel ugly, by giving others power over you, by giving them the ‘right’ to make you feel less than who you are.

Today I know I am responsible for my happiness

Absolutely. You own your power Anika.

…and damn Woman! You are very talented with a sewing machine! A gorgeous creation!
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83 DesireeNo Gravatar June 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

Hi Anika, I just found you via WendyB and I’m so glad I did. I’m touched by this post, you have wonderful style and a vibrant spirit, plus I adore your new dress!! It’s so amazing – I love the mixed prints and with the nail polish and “yoohoo it’s me!” ring, you look gorgeous:)).
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84 Susan TinerNo Gravatar June 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I found you via Wendy Brandes and really enjoyed this post. You are a beautiful and brave woman.
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