This photo was taken in 2010 for my 35th birthday. I had never taken professional photos other than school and family pictures not even Glamour Shots, lol...so this was somewhat ceremonial. I was not only celebrating a milestone birthday (especially because I didn't celebrate my 30th), but I was also celebrating the confidant woman I had become. I had low self-esteem most of my life...dark skin, lanky, pigeon toes, an ample forehead, and a smile that likened me to The Joker in Batman. At 35, I finally embraced these things! I realized the things that I got teased about and considered flaws are actually what make me beautiful. My low self-esteem led to some not so great decisions at times, but it also helped shape my career because I kept my head in the books as a defense mechanism. It also made me quite the comedian because no one could make me feel bad by making jokes at my expense if I beat them to the punch. That only worked in theory. At 38 I still have the remnants of that shy little pigeon-toed girl who teased herself to dodge a bullet, but I've come a looong way. I'm still not where I want to be but I am making strides daily. Taking moments like this to reflect on where I am as well as where I've been is a must.