So, I recently watched the film “Wonder”, which focuses on August Pullman, who was born with a facial deformity. Now, the movie does not only focus on Auggie, but it focuses on the different perspectives of the family and friends. This movie really changed my outlook on life. It made me realize that because of previous situations and circumstances, people are who they are. During my times of depression and anxiety, I did not consider how my family is dealing with it or how friends may feel. I believe that as people it is important to truly love ourselves, but we must be mindful of how our life affects others. Auggie really taught me that everyone deserves love. Everyone deserves acceptance. Everyone deserves friends. Everyone deserves to be happy! I am still getting better with not being as anxious and sometimes I never know if I say the right things. I believe that my fear is if I cannot make everyone feel comfortable, happy or appreciated, then I have failed my job as a human being. My depression bouts really stemmed from feeling alone, isolated and unaccepted. “Wonder” also discussed the life of Auggie’s older sister, Via, who is a high school girl that wants her mom to pay attention to her sometimes. I can relate to that feeling because my family adores me but for some reason I always wanted friends to call my own. I have always stuck out since I was very young. I remember in 4th grade, I was one of the new kids at my elementary school. One of my classmates came up to me at lunchtime and said, “Such and such said you were gay.” Now back then, I had heard about gay but in my household being gay wasn’t frowned upon. My family were very understanding and open minded. We were never a prejudiced family and we always decided to love and appreciate people for their character, not a sexual orientation. I didn’t know at that moment, I would have to deal with that for the rest of my life. So, whenever other kids would hear me speak, they would boldly ask me, “Are you gay?” . This made me hate my voice because other boys would laugh at me or immediately label me “the gay boy” for speaking the way I do. It really hurt me and I just remember asking “Why was I born like this? Why do I not talk like other boys?”. This insecurity developed into depression because I felt myself losing myself. To be honest, back when I was 13 or 14, I didn’t believe that I would make it this far. I would pray for light at the end of the tunnel because I was so lost and confused. I felt like such a mistake and wondered why I was different. I hated myself for a long time and I had just gotten better at hiding it. Auggie made me realize that God makes no mistakes. I prayed, journaled and began to share my feelings. As a young black man, I am encouraged to “toughen up” by society. I believed that crying was a form of weakness so for a long time I did not cry. I was actually doing myself a disservice because crying is a great release of pent up emotions. I had held in so much that it began to fester and when it would explode, I wouldn’t understand why. I had not liked myself for such a long time that now I am simply “making up for lost time”. I was not good to myself because I did not believe that I deserved to be loved. That I didn’t deserve acceptance. That I didn’t deserve happiness. But, in all actuality, I was always worthy, but I didn’t take time to acknowledge the many beautiful layers of me. My parents constantly built me up everyday. Fortunately, I have been blessed with such understanding parents who love me for me. I think that is why I am such a homebody because when it feels like the outside world doesn’t understand, I know that my family will always understand me. I want to share that with you all. No matter what, you deserve to be loved. You deserve to be accepted and you deserve to be happy. No matter your circumstance, choose kindness. Choose love always and go high if they go low. You are who you are and that will never change. So please be good to yourselves. I dare you to look in the mirror and find 5 things that you like about yourself. Say them aloud. Write yourself love notes. Positive affirmations. Encouraging notes. Love you so much that your significant other will love you in that same regard. All of these tips have really helped my lifestyle and I hope it helps you. By the way, if you haven’t watched it, please watch “Wonder”. It is a beautiful film that I am sure you all will love. I love you all so much and I pray that by telling my story I can provide some sense of comfort and relatability to another. I love you all. I always look forward to blogging. Always and forever.