Tag Archives: growth

Comparison

It was in grade nine that I met the girl that I will likely always be jealous of.

We met playing volleyball and she became a close friend of mine over that year. If one were asked to describe either one of us, the description would be near-identical. At the time we looked very similar with tanned skin, an abundance of curls, and long, lanky limbs. We called ourselves “Mocha” and “Caramel” because my skin was slightly lighter than hers and we felt we needed nicknames (our other friend was “White Chocolate”).

I did not play volleyball after that one year but I heard from White Chocolate (what a ridiculous name) that Mocha had been asked to join the elite team and was their starting middle, the position we both competed for during that year we played together. I had her on Facebook and saw her become more and more beautiful…than me. I felt trapped behind her: not beginning to straighten my hair until a year after she began regularly straightening hers, suddenly becoming curvier than her, and she grew a few inches taller than I.

There were times that I’d look at her profile and just lament over my own looks and disappointment in myself. Why can’t I take photos like that? Why can’t I be as thin as her? as tall? How can I make my hair to be as long as hers? Should I have had a boyfriend because she has?

It got to the point where I had to hide her from my newsfeed or risk being miserable once a day.

I guess my question/point of this post is why do we feel the need to compare ourselves to others?

When I’m not thinking about Mocha, I really like myself. I’m proud of my curves, I don’t mind my face (though sometimes I worry that it’s a bit lopsided), and I really do like myself as a person. But as soon as she comes into the picture that all falls down. Isn’t it sad that I have to put measures in place to ensure I don’t get upset about not being her?

I suppose it’s a matter of confidence. I can be happy with myself, I just need to learn to not look at myself in relation to others, I think.
I’m not quite sure I like how personal this was, but it was on my mind as I just came across her profile once again.

My heart hurts.

– K

Is It Now Okay To Say the N-Word?

A few months ago I went to a music festival in my hometown and ran into an acquaintance from high school. I was happy to see him until he greeted me with, “Kiah, my n*****!”

I can’t say I was offended, I was just more shocked than anything. For as long as I’ve been alive I’ve thought the “n” word to be something you never say to anyone. More than insulting me, as maybe it should have considering I’m biracial, I became upset about the word being used rather than it being used toward me. I told him to please not say it again, he did, and I haven’t spoken to him since.

Throughout my life I can’t say that I’ve ever been affected by racism. Though I’ve grown up in a predominantly Caucasian community, no one has ever cared about my skin colour. I don’t see myself as any different than anyone else, but in that moment I was suddenly separate. That acquaintance couldn’t call any of my other friends the “n” word and even if he had it wouldn’t mean anything at all.

As my anger simmered down in the next week, I realized that he hadn’t meant it to hurt me. I began to remember times during high school when people would use that word and in those cases it was used synonymous with “my friend.”

But when did it become okay to say nigger?

My brain barely recognizes the word as I type it. It’s just so foreign and so wrong to me. How can people use such a terrible word that was created to belittle a specific race and cause segregation?

Forgive me for letting my nerd-flag fly, but in the wise words of Albus Dumbledore, “Fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself.” By my rejection of the word, am I only giving it more negative power?

The truth is, the “n” word is just that: a word! However it holds such history that behind the letters it’s so much more. Today’s society is a lot different than that of only 50 years ago. Things have changed dramatically. I liken the change of the meaning of the word to the change of the word “gay”, where it now describes someone who is homosexual.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use the “n” word. In fact I don’t plan to–it’s not something that will ever be a part of my vocabulary. But I’m trying to tolerate it. I’m not saying that I don’t think it’s wrong to use it, I just recognize that it doesn’t necessarily have the same meaning.

– K