When I was 9 years old, I wanted to become a dancer for traditional Chinese dance. However, there was no dance school in my hometown and my parents thought I was too short to become a dancer. I always wished I could be taller. I researched every possible way to quickly grow until I realized one day there was nothing I could do to change my height. So I decided to accept it.
10 years ago, I moved to the US and I saw dancers with different shapes. Dancing becomes a way of expression. There is no requirement about height, no competition about who is better.
I no longer feel bitter about my height, and I know I don’t have to be a professional dancer in order for me to dance. I even performed a traditional Chinese dance at a Syracuse University Chinese New Year event.
Just like I can’t change my height, there are many things in life that cannot be controlled. We get frustrated, upset, bitter, and even sometimes feel the world is unfair. I think the most unfair thing we can do is give up on ourselves, or stop liking ourselves.
“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
We are all unique in our own way. Tall or short, introvert or extrovert, your skin tone, your accent, your fleckles… the list goes on and on. Instead of focusing on the things you don’t have control of, channel your energy and start focusing on the things you do have control of. You will set yourself free by doing that.
The first step is to acknowledge what you are seeing as a flaw, such as my height. I am short, I don’t look like all the girls in the major magazines, or on TV, with blond hair and blue eyes. However, that doesn’t make me any less. I choose to embrace it.
Another thing I’ve chosen to accept and embrace is my Chinese accent. It makes me unique and it shows my Chinese heritage, which is a really important part of my identity. It gave me a view of mixing Eastern and Western world. It makes me understand multi-culture and appreciate what I have now.
Next time you find yourself dwelling on something that can’t be changed, don’t get upset. Instead, acknowledge that it is something you don’t have control of, and accept it. When you fully embrace who you are, you will be free.