Beautiful Things Don’t Ask For Attention (stories from my childhood)

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This is the first time that I have listened to this sweet song and it reminded me of my childhood…

Oh, have you looked in the mirror lately? (Lately)
Wish you could trade eyes with me (’cause)
There’s complexities in complexion
But your skin, it glow like diamonds
Dig me like the earth, you be giving birth
Took everything in life, baby, know your worth
I love everything about you, from your nappy curls
To every single curve, your body natural
Same skin that was broken be the same skin takin’ over
Most things out of focus, view
But when you’re in the room, they notice you (notice you)
‘Cause you’re beautiful
Yeah, you’re beautiful.

When I was little I felt so different from everyone else.  The other girls had names like Jamie, Whitney, Sarah and Katie and I had never met anyone else named Alana.  I spent most of my childhood wanting to blend in (wishing I were white because everyone else was) and wanting to be like everyone else.

At the same time, I was proud of who I was and I wanted to learn more about my relatives and where I came from.  My Mom grew up in Hawaii and my Dad grew up in Guam.  I am mostly Filipino and Guamanian.  I spent years wishing that I could speak those languages.  I can understand a little, but I do not speak either language fluently.  I felt most proud to be myself when my family came to visit.  I always loved when my Grandma Bea and my Godfather, Uncle Harry came to visit.  They would play island music and many of our family members would come together.  We would BBQ and all were invited and treated like family.

I looked forward to Grandma Bea’s phone calls around Christmas and she would always say, “Come visit me and swim in my swimming pool.”  Grandma Bea’s back yard was the Marianas Trench.  I spent my entire childhood wishing that I could go to Guam and visit Grandma Bea.  It was so sad when Grandma Bea passed away in 2011…

This song reminded me of those childhood memories.  Now that I am in my 30’s I finally appreciate who I am the way that I am.  Practicing self-love takes practice and there are days when it is more challenging than others, but I think it is worth the effort.

I have noticed that when I reflect on the love my Grandparents had for me it helps me to appreciate myself.  I feel inspired to love myself the way that I am.  I have to keep taking care of myself so that I can live a life that they would be proud of and most importantly a life that I am proud of.  I am proud to be an island girl.

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My “Island Girls” watercolor painting ❤

I decided to read this article about Guamanian customs and was kind of amused by what I read in Guampedia.  Here are a few excerpts:

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I remember hearing about some of these customs when I was little.

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As I am reading it right now I am laughing as I visualize island people with long, wild, hair, and red or black-stained teeth 🙂 That sounds about right and I feel proud to know that my ancestors were free spirits ❤

I feel lucky to live in a time when it is easier than ever to connect with family and friends via social networking avenues like email, facebook, and the phone.  Have you noticed that the older you get the easier it is to get out of touch with family members and friends.  I have reached the age now when many of my family members and friends have started having families of their own.  In fact many of them already have more than one child.

How do you reconnect with family members that you have gotten out of touch with?  Comment below to share.

❤ Alana

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