Condition(er)

My beauty is not a blemish.

I wrote that phrase in my journal on September 9, 2011.

A blemish is a spot, often temporary, that occurs on your skin, or on a record. Minor alarming of your attention…like a bruise, a sunburn, or a bad grade. It’s basically something that is thought to stain or defile something that is clean or pretty. The natural inclination is to cover or get rid of it as fast as you can.

I still remember the first small spot I noticed on the milk chocolate canvas of my body. (See, I can be poetic at times. Lol) It was a blemish that I didn’t know what it was or how it got there, but I had to hide the imperfection. As it increased to second spot, a larger area, another body part, it developed into a condition. It is called vitiligo.

This condition is not debilitating, but it was certainly life changing. Any condition has transforming potential because it imposes on who you perceive yourself to be and can challenge how the world views you.

We think of many conditions as negative. But consider your hair. After washing it, you must condition it to add moisture and strength to each strand. You apply this treatment from root to tip.

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Like a conditioner coats your hair, your condition is not you, but adds a layer to you. My vitiligo doesn’t define me, but has enhanced who I am in this big world. Being a minority in anything has always been looked at as a deficit, as a weak or isolating and shameful position. But it’s really a place of influence. No, I may not always want all eyes on me, but sometimes they are, so what am I gonna do while they’re watching? All I can do is be the best me that I can be. That in itself makes me an example. And as example, I hope to be an inspiration.

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