Love Starts Now | A Journey of Self-Discovery in 2022

I was going to wait until Valentine’s Day to post this, but then I decided — Love Starts Now.

Almost a year ago in April, I underwent major surgery on my leg. It’s crazy to think about it now, then it was just another surgery, but when I look back and reflect on all that I went through, it was a major ordeal. My leg was surgically broken and rotated almost 90 degrees.

As you can imagine, it’s been a long recovery — and technically, my leg is still broken as it’s taking longer than expected to heal.

While these last nine months have been physically demanding, they’ve demanded a lot mentally as well, having to keep myself encouraged and uplifted during what was a grueling, and painful process.

But, somehow along the way, I think what I struggled with the most was, and is, my self-esteem. | Love Starts Now | A Journey of Self-Discovery in 2022

Prior to this, it took me years to finally arrive at a place where I felt comfortable and confident in my body. Learning to embrace societal ‘flaws’ as beauty, owning and celebrating them. With this surgery, I found myself with new scars, more weight, loneliness, and many more insecurities.

Actually, scratch that, if I am to be completely honest, these feelings of insecurity started to creep in long before my surgery. I think it’s fair to say that these last three years have been tough for everyone. But just with the ‘norms’ of life — aging — we go through a lot of changes that can take some time to adjust to.

All that to say, these last couple of months have left me feeling pretty low. I haven’t felt like myself…

I’ve been contemplating what exactly happened to get me to where I am today. Granted, I’ve been through a lot in these last couple of months, but I thought I was more secure to not feel like I’m at square one when it comes to my confidence journey.

I realized, I’m going through a separation; a separation of who I once was, and who I am becoming. And as with any change, I am left feeling insecure.

I don’t have all the answers, however, in 2022 I’m making it my mission to discover who I am in this next stage of life. Life as a woman in her thirties. Life as a single woman in her thirties. Life as a single Christian woman in her thirties. It ain’t easy y’all.

I’m slowly removing the veil to see myself more clearly as this woman, and to celebrate her for who she is…

Where to start? I always believe that the best way to start something is by throwing yourself into it, not giving yourself enough time to think, and ‘talk’ yourself out of it. | Love Starts Now | A Journey of Self-Discovery in 2022

So, I decided to take self-portraits. Photography can be powerful in helping to see ourselves more clearly, capturing our essence and time just as we are. I forced myself to do this at one of my lowest moments, when it was easy to nick-pick, judge, and critique everything that I hated about myself.

And you know what I learned? I truly am my worst critic…

The girl looking back at me in these pictures is not the girl I see every day when looking in the mirror, but in 2022, I’m learning to merge and be in love with the two.

This means —again — embracing every stretchmark, curve, scar, dimple, and everything else in between. And get this, not hold these things as a confirmation as to why I am single. *Oops, did that get too real?* We’ll talk more about this later… | Love Starts Now | A Journey of Self-Discovery in 2022

I mentioned earlier that I felt as if I am going through a separation. Well, this relationship — the one that I have with myself — is worth fighting for. I am fighting for this relationship. I am investing in this person, treating her with dignity and respect. I am not comparing her body to others. I will see her for who she is — a strong, beautiful, hardworking, passionate, kind, God-fearing, intelligent being.

I was going to be cliche and wait until Valentine’s Day to post this, but then I decided — Love Starts Now. There’s no perfect time, no perfect place, no perfect ‘feeling’ to wait for when it comes to showing yourself some much-needed love. Love starts now…

I know it won’t come without hiccups along the way, but this is one journey that’s worth taking…




Maya is owner of Pink Caboodle, specializing in Fashion and Body Positivity.

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