katelin henry

Green, Indiana

Hello! I am a writer who is interested in psychology and archaeology. I love to write about human nature, and humans in general. I am a quizzical kind of person, and I love learning.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Dec 11, 2017 6 years ago

Think about your very first home. Maybe it was a yellow house with a picket fence and a playground in the backyard. Perhaps your mother planted rose bushes, and they grew until they reached the second story window. Or maybe your first home was completely different. Maybe it was a trailer in the middle of nowhere with nothing to keep you company but the howls of coyotes, and your only friend was the occasional stray dog that you would only see once before it disappeared. Maybe you wished you could disappear with it. At the same time, many people say that they live in houses and their home is the generic idea of love, family, or wherever they happen to be at the moment. People fail to realize the home that they've always had: themselves. Our soul, our intellect, our being is protected by muscle, bone, and a thin layer of epidermis, much like we are protected by the walls and roof of a house. The human brain perceives our physical appearance as just that: an appearance. When we see another person, we know what they look like, but we don't know who they are. When we pass by houses on the street, we can see the outside, but there's so much more that's happened on the inside. There's so much pressure to look the best, act the best, be the best, or at least act like you're the best by putting on a show of excellence, and if you aren't just putting on a show because you actually love yourself, you're seen as conceited. In a world where everything is marketed to make you feel inadequate, loving yourself is a sin. It's a crime to walk with confidence, so you have to tone it down so others don't feel intimidated. You're allowed to be okay with yourself, but not too okay. There are the ones who fall on the opposite end, where they can't even look in the mirror without crying. To them, everything about them is wrong. Eyes too small, stomach too big, nose too crooked. Every so-called flaw is magnified to the point that all they see is one huge imperfection. I used to be that person. Every day I would wake up and think that if only I was a little skinnier, if only my hair was a little straighter, then I'd be happy. “Skinny” girls with straight hair are what everyone considers beautiful, right? I would always put myself down because I wasn't the “ideal standard” for what a female human body should look like. Every time someone would give me a compliment, I'd brush it off and deny the nice thing that was said to me. I refused to look in the mirror in the school bathroom, and I was scared to stand next to my friends, who were so much smaller than me, in pictures. The only pictures I would allow anyone to take were pictures of my face, and I had to take them so I could hide my double chin by using a good angle. The first time that I truly realized my value was on an unassuming day in my chemistry class. My friends and I were talking about scary occurrences in our life, and I told them about the day I was born. When I came out, my four-foot-long umbilical cord was wrapped around me. I looked like a mummy. My skin was bruised from the constriction, and my head had been turned to the left and held there by the cord. My skin was tinged blue, and for a moment, no one thought I had survived. After I had started crying and my umbilical cord had been cut off of me, the nurse looked to my mom and said, “I've never seen a baby that blue come out alive.” After I finished my story, my friend told me that I had to be alive for a reason. Without explanation, something just clicked in my mind. I realized that I had wasted most of my life hating myself, and in turn the hatred had bloomed into depression and disgust. I didn't want to hate myself. It was exhausting to bottle up that many detrimental emotions. I started letting sunshine in, letting it cut through the depression and disgust that had formed like mold in a dark room. Instead of letting harmful thoughts get to me, I started telling myself that I was beautiful. Every morning, I'd tell myself ten things that I found wonderful about myself, be it mental or physical. I finally stopped letting the opinions of others affect me. My mom would point things out about my appearance, like how my shirt or my pants weren't flattering and showed too much of my size, that would have devastated me in the past, but in my newfound self-love her comments would go right over my head. I'm glad that I was able to turn my house into a home. The saying, “home is where the heart is” is correct, especially in the literal sense. In today's world, love isn't given enough, so to love yourself is a beautiful thing that deserves to be celebrated, along with the uniqueness of every human being. You might think that there's nothing about yourself that deserves to be loved, but there is. There is always something. The way your freckles lay on your face, the way you think things through, your kindness, or how you laugh. There is something beautiful about everyone. You just need to find it for yourself.

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