Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Kage is one of the most beautiful souls you'll ever meet in this lifetime. Her stories of what La Union was before and anything really are food for thought. We always enjoy hanging out this lady! When we read her entry for our guest post, we were touched and tears literally rolled down our cheeks. At some point in our lives, may you be a woman or man for that matter, we question ourselves --- "Are we enough?"
At what age did you first start feeling you might not be "enough?" Not smart, pretty, fast, thin, sporty, sexy, clever, tall, short, white, brown, fair, whatever enough? At what age did you start believing it? When did you let other people be the basis of your self-worth? Maybe it's time to change that. I was an athlete all my life, moving from basketball to dance to basketball to figure skating to dance all over again to capoeira and then finally, to surfing. Some of these sports happened at the same time. So yes, I was super fit and super strong and I loved it.
But even then, I had body issues. How, you ask, can someone with a four-pack still have body issues? Easy. I listened to the world around me. I listened to salesladies who would pick out dresses for me saying “Ma’am, bagay yan sa chubby” and instead of seeing my fit body, I would instead zero in on the fact that my stomach would still “fold” when I sat down. I listened to (what I now realize) skewed standards of beauty and weight that I would read about in magazines. It never occurred to me that I might be heavier because of muscle mass. Or that I was not "petite" because my curves and swerves were the natural way my body is. And even though part of me knew I was healthy and strong… part of me still felt like I wasn’t quite “enough.” My hips, too big. My weight, too heavy. My self, still not what I was expected to be. Silly me.
Then I got sick in late 2009 and gained about 30 extra pounds. I lost muscle tone. I lost stamina. I lost strength. And for the longest time, I equated how I felt with how much closer or further away I was from who I was before the weight gain. Not what I was worth as a person. More about how I felt as an athlete. On my ongoing journey back to fitness, I've come to realize that I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin again. And that those impossible beauty standards from my youth were exactly that: impossible, unrealistic, and the opposite of empowering. Sure, there's still quite a way to go before I hit fighting weight and I am nowhere near done with reclaiming the body that once was. But I can honestly say that I feel stronger now than I did five years ago when I first got sick. So yes, my eyes are still on that goal. But I am not going to be self-conscious of where I currently am in my journey.
I like me. Not all the time of course. I know I am broken and patched up and flawed. But aren't we all works in constant progress? And while we work to be the best version of ourselves, we are enough. I am enough. So are you. To quote Natalie Patterson, a poet who is one of my constant sources of inspiration, "I am my own favorite song that I am just now learning all the words to. But I wanna sing you. Sing you til the song sticks."
More about Kage Gozun:
Kage is a Social Media Manager, freelance lifestyle writer-photographer, and copy editor. She recently put up the brand Filiology with her good friends in a bid to promote Filipino heritage arts, crafts, and culture. She is a staunch advocate for equality, conservation, and sustainable development. She firmly believes in the Oxford comma. Sing you. Celebrate you. You are enough. We all are.
Follow Kage Gozun on Instagram: @travelkage