I’m back with another interview for our anti-bully campaign, #GlowTogether. As we grow our anti-bully campaign, #GlowTogether, I wanted you to not only hear from me but hear from other strong women who have overcome adversity in their life. I want to use this space to highlight them and their stories. I hope you will be able to find inspiration in overcoming your own adversity and remembering that you are enough.
First thing’s first, What’s your name?
Can you tell me what you do for a living?
I advocate for female empowerment, self-care, self-love and positivity.
In your job or your personal life, have you ever had something hard that you had to overcome?
For basically my whole life, I’ve felt inadequate in all the ways. I was never smart enough, athletic enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, talented enough… etc. As an Asian American girl growing up, I was surrounded with not only societal pressures in school, but also cultural pressures and high expectations from my family. I went to schools where I was the only Asian kid in class, to schools where almost 3/4th of the class was of Asian descent. It felt like I was living a dual life, between my “American” self and my “Chinese” self. I had to mask certain more traditional parts of myself in school to “fit in” and I had to tone down a lot of my personality and tendencies at home to be a “good girl”. For a long time, I was very lost and confused in my identity and who I wanted to be.
How did you overcome it?
I don’t think I fully came into my own until my late 20s. I realized that I always molded myself to what I thought the people and society expected of me. I would care so much about what others thought of me, in fear of rejection, being left out, and ostracized. However, once I truly tried to be honest with myself, discovering what I like, what I don’t, my voice, and my own desires, I started to reclaim my identity. I forgave and embraced everything about myself, flaws and all. I focused on positivity, and I would allow myself to be however and whoever I wanted to be. I reminded myself that you are enough and you will get through it. I cultivated self-confidence, and realized that I don’t need to choose between being one thing or another. I can be both, I can be neither, but whatever I am, I know I am kind, loving, and strong.
If there was someone else in a similar situation, what are some words of advice?
If I could go back in time to tell school girl Stacey one thing, it would be to stop caring about what other people think of you. Because the honest truth is that NOBODY CARES. Everyone else is busy worrying about themselves, and nobody with a life is paying any attention to you. This was probably one of the most freeing things I’ve realized in the last two years.
We live in a very digital world so you probably have seen some degree of online bullying. What is one advice you would give to young people to help stop cyber bullying?
It makes me incredibly sad to see or hear about people who go around putting others down online. Rule of thumb: if you have nothing good to say, don’t say it. Because honestly, you’re doing more harm to yourself by creating hate and negative energy. Also ask yourself why you’re thinking these things and why you feel compelled to say them.
If you are a target of cyber bullying or encounter haters online, know this: when someone ridicules you or says something mean about you, it’s probably because they themselves are insanely insecure about that exact thing. If you can find the strength in you to forgive them, you can find the strength to move past it.
In your everyday life, how do you exercise positivity?
Whenever I am faced with hardship, or troubles, or things just not going how I expected them to, I try to spin it around. I tell myself it wasn’t meant to be because the Universe has much greater and better things in store for you. I always think to myself that “You Are Enough” and everything will be okay. My motto is “everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” If you believe that, then you will be reassured that this pain, this struggle, is only temporary.
Edited by: Samantha Yazzie