Tamika. Los Angeles, USA

My mom died when I was nine. I was always picked on and people have always told me that I’m weird. I used to think it was a bad thing but now I just embrace it. I identify as being quirky. Whether or not I fit into a crowd, I know I’m a loving and nurturing person; things my mom instilled that in me when I was young. 

 

I’ve always had a sense of loss in my life. I’ve struggled a lot with depression because of loneliness. I feel like no matter what I do people aren’t going to be there for me the way I want them to be. It’s heartbreaking. I’m a person who hates to be isolated but that’s how I feel a lot of the time. 

 

I have my guard up a lot, but as soon as some music plays I let it take me away. I let my body move and do what it wants. I often dance around my room by myself. That’s when I’m the most relaxed and feel the most like my truest self. 

 

My mom was generous and open and free. I’m on my way to becoming just like her. I’m no longer ashamed of who I am or disappointed in myself. I know the small things don’t matter as long as I’m okay with myself. And I am! I’m a beautiful person. 

 

My mom would be happy that I’m finally living my life for Tamika and no one else.