Tonight, I was given the African name ‘Buhle’ by a member of the church family that has been taking care of my choir since we arrived in South Africa last week. Buhle means beautiful. It means beautiful. It means beautiful. If I could go back in time and visit my 13 year-old self, a girl who used to stand before mirrors with hatred in her heart and tears in her eyes whispering “you are so ugly”, I would tell her that one day in South Africa a woman will look you in the eyes and give you the name ‘beautiful’.
This was a full circle moment for me and I’m trying not to cry just thinking about it. You may see where I am right now and assume I’ve always had it together but being called beautiful, being named ‘Buhle’ tonight was genuinely one of the greatest moments of my life. She saw something in me, after simply meeting me, that it took me years to see in myself. I’ve been fighting with insecurity for most of my life. I still have to convince myself that I’m worthy of love, appreciation, and joy but it’s eye-opening to realize that someone can look at you and see so much in you.
I had to hug her so she wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes. Before I left tonight she called me “Buhle” three more times making me realize that it wasn’t just a name she gave to me and forgot. She was intentional with giving me that name and was even more intentional with calling me by my “real name”. I’ve been to many countries and have had many experiences but I’ve always been in a rush to get back home but I’ve been here for 7 days and South Africa already feels like home. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to go back to America.
I’m hoping that the following poem will give a better insight into who I am and why moments like this make me step back and appreciate my experience.
This poem is about me trying to fill in the gaps between my own insecurity. While reading it, note that Insecurity is personified and try to see yourself through my mirror of self-reflection. I am immensely aware of my own flaws. This poem is a reflection of me knowing what my own insecurity looks like…
Insecurity wears the prettiest wigs and the brightest lipstick.
Insecurity always has on the brightest dresses and the cutest shoes.
Insecurity always has her nails done and her face beat.
Insecurity waits not to be spoken to before assuming her name is already in their mouths.
Insecurity has been down this road before.
Every one thinks that Insecurity thinks too highly of herself but Insecurity is just hiding her insecurities.
Insecurities chooses when to be bold and when to hate herself.
Insecurity is strong and powerful and weak and brittle.
Happy Free-Thinking Friday! See you on Sunday!