by Claire Fountain · 21 May 2020 · 9 min read
I'm 34 years old. I have been in a relationship for the past six years. I am also unmarried, and I have no kids. Too often, I scroll through Instagram and look at the endless women who are pregnant or who already have beautiful families. After trying to conceive for over two years, seeing other people's "haves" on the internet often makes me feel my "have nots" to an extreme. Every time I see a pregnancy announcement, or even an engagement—even though I am in no rush to get married—it makes me feel lesser. I get suck in a "Why not me?" mentality.
Iwrote Be That Unicorn: Find Your Magic, Live Your Truth, Share Your Shine for one simple reason. Because I could feel the need for it in the world. Life is not easy. Hopefully it has lots of opportunities to be happy, fulfilling, and fun. But easy, it is not.
Growing up, my parents (particularly my mom) expected greatness. This helped me do well in school but it also had a negative side effect: I became a perfectionist. I think perfectionism is tied to pleasing others and trying to make sure people like us. If we are perfect, you have to love us right? We feel like we aren't good enough as is, so if we are perfect, it will make up for it.
Racism is a multifaceted monster that thrives on visual and audible cues. From elementary to high school, as a person of color, I experienced what I can only describe as counter-cultural racism. I felt severely isolated and often degraded by the Black community. As a result, I had many more white friends than Black for most of my life. As I got older, my interactions with white women would sting with traces of biased and superior behavior. This was painful and unexpected, and again, I felt isolated and at times degraded.
Today, the armchair psychologist is helping someone stay positive about their body changing.
This is the advice I'd love to give to my younger self. Maybe it can help you, now.
Today, the armchair psychologist is dealing with some frenemy issues and another who's dealing with a difficult mother.
Self-image is a powerful mindset. Some scientists and psychologists believe one's self-image is the primary determining factor of failure or success—I agree, with my whole heart. If you look in the mirror and don't like what you see, the inner self-image that controls so many aspects of our lives also becomes displeased. In many cases, we don't see what others see in us. We see this hollow, negative entity, and eventually, we become that person. In the process, we lose confidence and, ultimately, others lose faith in us as well. This saga is failure.