Love the things that make you who you are

Turn the things you hate about yourself into something you love

More stories from Bri Hageman


Photo by Submitted

Hageman wears glasses and isn’t afraid to express the things about her.

Growing up, I was known as the “cross-eyed freak” on my schoolyard. How charming.

What are these remarks? Just words. Take a step back and start to love your unique, unchangeable attributes about yourself.

This journey was incredibly hard for me.

When I was two years old, my genius doctor found out I was cross eyed. I got glasses to fix this problem, but the second I took them off, my vision went blurry and one eye went in a completely different direction.

I never really thought of this quirk about me as out of the ordinary until exactly Sept. 7, 2007. Yes, I remember the exact date because the story was so traumatic.

I was outside on the bright red and blue shiny playground during recess. I stood in a circle with some classmates as we all performed small tricks. One kid was double jointed, one was able to do a backflip, then eventually one kid said they could cross their eyes. The kids “oo’d” and “ahh’d” as this child made his eyes cross for all of two seconds.

Oh, how I wanted to top that.

I whipped off my little Bugs Bunny glasses and explained how I am always cross eyed. They stared at me for what seemed like minutes, not giving me the reaction I had hoped for. That was how the awkward kid in the back adapted to the name of a “cross-eyed freak.” Swell.

This lasted for a few years. I was scared to death to ever take off my glasses. Then, once I got contacts, I never told a single soul that I even wore glasses. Over time I started to realize this problem I thought I had was absolutely ridiculous, and me having so many vision problems at such a young age really shaped me into the person I am today.

I decided to own it. And let me tell you, the second you start to own the thing you hate most about yourself, your days get exponentially better.

Now for those awkward greeting games where you have to introduce yourself and say a fun fact about you, I always tell people this story. No matter what you think is bad about you, if you have no control over changing it, why not use all the energy you spend hating on yourself for something you are proud of instead?

Love your quirks and love the things that make you who you are, because the second you do, it’s one step closer to loving yourself that much more.