When the Flowers Bloom

7 years ago, I was at a terrible place in my life. I had just graduated from high school and was living with my grandparents. I was going to weekly therapy sessions to learn how to cope with my social anxiety, pain, and trauma. I had no job, my car was constantly in and out of the shop, and I was about to start my first trimester of community college in the fall. I was an 18-year-old with no plan and no self-esteem. That was also the summer I discovered the wonderful world of Tumblr and blogging.

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I was sitting in my grandparent's office, using their computer, and browsing the internet when I discovered Nadia Aboulhosn. I came across her blog and I was hooked. There I sat, an insecure closeted 18-year-old plus size Filipino Scottish girl staring at a computer screen of someone who looked more like me and less like most of the fashion bloggers I was used to seeing on my Tumblr feed. I remember scrolling through Nadia's blog and thinking to myself, "She's wearing a crop top! I can wear a crop top? I need a crop top now!" The idea that you didn't have to be a certain size to wear what you whatever you want was completely foreign to me. Fast forward to 7 years later. I am a 25-year-old with her bachelor's degree. I am a proud bisexual Filipino Scottish womxn who wears whatever she wants including this stunning Luna Dress in the color Sienna created by Nadia Aboulhosn herself.

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People like Nadia are the reason I got into blogging in the first place. I saw that they were creating a space for themselves and I wanted to do the same. I haven't uploaded a blog post since May and while we're only halfway through 2018, this year has been one of tremendous growth for me. I have had to confront a lot of repressed trauma and insecurities about myself head on. I didn't feel secure enough with myself or my body, I was confident enough in myself, and I wasn't inspired or motivated to blog. It is so easy during those low moments in your life to dwell on how far you have to grow rather than recognizing how much you have bloomed. But when I think back on how life was and who I was 7 years ago, I am reminded of how much this delicate fucking flower has bloomed.

I have a job that I love. I have a car that, while it’s missing a door handle (that is another story), gets me where I need to go with ease. I wear what I want including crop tops, do what I want, and am not afraid to say how I feel. I am learning how to let go and to enjoy this weird and exciting time in my life that people call their 20s. I have some of the best people in my life. I have learned to love, embrace, worship, and care for my body. I just want to continue to grow, to learn, to love, and to be happy. I have learned to ignore society's outdated standards of beauty and hope to create a space here on my blog for people who may look or identify like me just as Nadia Aboulhosn did for me. Don't call it a comeback.