Since originally writing about my heritage and our trip to Greece, I ran across another person of Greek heritage who talked very negatively about their own nose (and my immediate thought was--- their nose isn't even as hooked as mine!). So, being tempted to think negatively about my nose once more, I cling to this essay all the more. I'm deeply grateful I'm identical to women, men, and a culture on the other side of the earth, even though I don't see many of them in my own culture here. I'll keep remembering and choose to be grateful for my nose.
Over the past few months, I've been considering, writing on, and reflecting on the longings we have as human beings. Basic, but incredibly intricate and beautiful (what I believe to be God-given) longings. Like, the desire to belong. To be important. to be significant. To contribute. To be Accepted, liked, and beautiful.
I think the hardest and best part about acknowledging these longings in my own life, is that all my biggest insecurities and fears come from them.
In the past I've had a lot of fear and insecurity because of my Greek features.
My mothers side of the family is Greek, and for a large part of my life, I really hated that my Greek features seemed to keep me from belonging or appearing beautiful to others. My eyebrows have always made me look mean, so, in turn, I've always tried to walk around with a smile to balance out the angry vibes my brows appear to be giving (I'm so serious, if I'm not smiling, I'm usually asked what I'm mad about, which then actually MAKES me mad, because I'm not mad, my brows just make you think I am).
And my Greek nose.....
At some point in middle school my nose just kept growing while some of my friends kept their cute little button noses... Saying it bluntly, my nose is the kind of nose people refer to as a "hooked nose".
It's the kind of nose J.K. Rowling uses to describe Severus Snape's nose. Which, always made me cringe a little, knowing I shared the same nose as THE Severus Snape---the creepy, sour, potential bad guy, slytherin---- but since his character is one of the most redeemable and lovable of all time, I don't mind it so much anymore. I also turned out to be a Slytherin, so... maybe he and I would have been deeply connected hooked-nose friends. ;)
My nose used to be (and sometimes still is) one of my greatest insecurities.
When I was a freshmen in high school, an immature upperclassmen guy walked up to me, touched my nose with his finger and pointed out to me that my nose stuck out from my head differently than other girls' noses. He traced my nose with his finger but made a big hook in the air so that I could see how extravagantly huge my nose looked. He laughed and walked away.
It might have seemed funny and insignificant to him, but I've never considered breaking my own nose in hopes of needing plastic surgery so seriously until then.
But I'll never forget how this trip I took to Greece last week made me feel.
In Greece, my nose, for the first time ever, felt "normal". I was surprised at how my features were reflected in almost everyone around me. Visually, I looked as if I belonged. Dark hair. Olive skin. Greek nose. Strong eyebrows. I really looked the part. I had a few people try to talk to me in Greek, only for me to surprise/disappoint them with an "english only" vocabulary.
Blogging and talking about it almost makes it feel silly and insignificant in light of so many things other people face for being "different"... It really hasn't impacted the way others treat me, but I can't discount that this is something I've had to learn and struggle to embrace about myself.
My nose has even helped me understand that acceptance from others is something that really will never fill me. I'm one of those people who finds it freeing to know that God's acceptance is the only acceptance I need and already have. And quite frankly, He gave me my nose, so I know He likes it. ;)
So check out me and my Greek nose below in my favorite photographs from our trip.
Because I truly want you to enjoy looking at the Greece I visited, I've divided up our pictures BY COLOR Y'ALL--- to spice up the visual appeal. Athens was one of the most colorful cities I've been to-- with every flower blooming and every surface, building, or subway graffitied. So, pics by color is PERFECT for this.