Summer is finally here! If you're not sharing the same enthusiasm as a lot of people do about summer, you're not alone. I was one of small groups of people who dreaded the season of shorts, swimsuits and tank tops. I hated the pointing and staring. The question is, how did I overcome that part of my life? I can assure you it wasn't easy, and took years of hard work and self-reflection to get to where I am now.
A lot of you may know that I was born without a right forearm. I call it my Lucky Fin. If you want to get technical, just Google "symbrachydactyly," a word I still can't pronounce correctly to this day. For a large portion of my life, I spent it shying away from the cameras and subtly-but-not-so-subtly hiding my arm under long, baggy sweatshirts and jackets. The reasoning behind this method was to avoid the awkward stares and pointing, and if you are someone living with a physical disability, you know the feeling. I spent many summers hiding indoors and finding any excuse to avoid pool parties. I didn't want to have to answer to the life that was chosen for me at birth.
So I bet you're wondering how I've come to move on from that phase of my life. I say this all the time to my readers, but I must say it again: it starts with loving yourself first. Commence the eye rolling. I know, I know. "But Rebekah, how do I even do that?" GREAT QUESTION!
If you're going to make this life-changing decision to truly love yourself, it begins with a real conversation. I decided in my early twenties I wanted to live a better life, because after all, I deserved to enjoy summer just as anyone else did. I started blogging, modeling and anything I could do to put myself in a scenario where I'd have to answer all the uncomfortable questions I've been avoiding my entire life. The more I talked about struggling with self-confidence, the stronger I became, and the more I realized I'm not alone.
Over the years of practicing this new method of self-love, I became an entirely new Rebekah — a confident Rebekah. Again, I must emphasize, you are not alone in feeling scared to let people see your disability; your lucky fin; your limb difference. Embrace that fear and turn it into strength.
Enjoy your summer — you deserve it.
Women's One-Piece Bathing Suit ($24 on Amazon): here
Vintage Cat Eye Sunglasses ($9 on Amazon): here