To Love Yourself

Hi, my name is Marley Anderson, I’m 13 years old, and am ecstatic to be in Nicaragua with Project Lumina. Yesterday was a really eventful day in a lot of ways whether it had to do with doing something fun or talking about things that will change the rest of my life. We woke up in the morning at around 8 a.m., all tired from the long night of honking horns, loud music, church services, and more. Usually we do yoga and meditation early after we awake but instead we went to the beach to try something new. At the beach, we did a labyrinth and walking meditation where we could really think about ourselves which was really cool because of how much I learned that the weirdest things can help you focus the most.

As we were getting weird and confused stares by strangers on the beach we started talking about how hard it is to be a teenage girl. The way society is set up makes it impossible for you to be completely happy with yourself, and Jen and Jackie wanted us to be able to break the impossible task so we weren’t ashamed of ourselves in any way. After a few hours and a few tears, I already felt different, in a way where I didn’t feel ashamed in how I looked and I felt content. We talked about each of the things we loved about each other and they were all about the beauty within instead of how we look on the outside. I realized that while it is important to be happy with what you look like on the outside, it is way more important to love your personality.

Next, we all packed into the back of a pickup truck with colored war paint on our faces to surf for the first time. Once we got to the beach I was expecting to have a lesson on land of everything you need to do to surf, but our surf instructor Oliver told us a few things and then strapped a surfboard to my leg and pushed me into the water. I was the first one up to attempt to surf and I was super excited. He told me to not think about it and just pop up. As a new set of big waves came he yelled near me, “Here comes wave, dis is your wave, don’t think just do,” He pushed me forward and I popped up and rode the wave all the way to the shore. I couldn’t stop smiling when I snapped out of my zone and realized that I had just stood up and rode the first wave I have ever been on. The girls behind me where cheering and I was ecstatic. After that I stood up on every wave that came at me and didn’t miss one. I can’t wait to surf again and do it with people I have learned to love after only a few days.