Today is International Women’s Day. 

As a woman, I feel that often we forget how strong we are. Sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror, I hate what I see. God I wish I was taller and had a flat belly. I wish I had long shiny wavy hair like those girls in the hair product commercials. I wish I didn’t have to put filters on my selfies just so you wouldn’t notice that my face is covered with acne. And it’s not just about how I look. I also put so many labels on myself. I am a woman. I am Asian. I am an immigrant. I speak with an accent. I am only 5 feet that I have trouble even trying to reach the second highest shelf at a store. I am an introvert and I walk with my head down. I am, what you call, a millennial. Oh and also, I suffer from depression. 

Those labels formed a titanium fence and trapped me in it. I couldn’t move. I beat myself up for being those things. I kept asking myself why everything I do was wrong so I was so afraid to do anything. I forgot who I really am. 

I forgot that I am also a loving sister, a caring girlfriend, a proud small business owner, and most of all, a fearless fighter. I only remembered that how tough and unbearable those days and nights were but I forgot that I got through them. I forgot that I worked so damn hard for everything that I ever wanted and I truly deserve them. 

Yes I am still a tiny Asian female introvert. But I care, love, and never give up on myself. 

On this international women’s day, I want to say to all women, and men, who don’t know how strong and powerful they are: if we only accept things we think we deserve, I wish I can help you understand that you deserve so much more.