I love my hands.

They are my fave body part hands down.

Sure, I guess it’s because I can do cool stuff with my hands. I can hold my tiny humans, I can stroke Katherine’s face, I can open doors and bottles and all sorts of crazy things with my opposable thumbs.

But that’s really only a small part of it, the truth is —

My hands have always felt like mine.

I have this photo somewhere of me, in a black velvet dress and the poofiest bangs you ever did see, sitting, legs crossed, with my hands folded around a stuffed Big Bird. Sure I was holding a big yellow bird but he was dwarfed in comparison to my giant mitts for hands.

And so began the jokes. At age 5, I realized something very important.

I had man hands.

I was convinced that when people saw my hands, (or ugly feet) they would know my deep dark secret. That they could see beyond the very thinnly veiled but incredibly hard fought for facade that I was putting up. I mean didn’t they see the nail polish? ANYONE!!!

I am embarrassed to say I can’t count the number of times I would lay in bed at night and cry into my pillow about how unjust the size and veiny terrain of my hands was. Why couldn’t I just be normal like everyone else.

At the time I couldn’t fathom a world where people like me existed, it was easier to believe that corrective hand reductions could be don’t one day to make my hands as small and beautiful as the teenaged girl across the streets hands. Hell a hand transplant was a more realistic option than having the res of my body match my hands.

Twenty five years later a lot has changed though. Now I look around and I can see people just like me, all over the place. There’s Samantha is Phoenix, and Chris in Chicago, and Freddy is London and Trystan in Portland, and thousands of us all over the worlds. We are on TV shows and billboards and Gillette commercials. We exist in a way we haven’t before.

And now I sit here all grown up, on the good days I’m not ashamed of the best parts of me anymore. Instead they are my favourite parts. I know for some people writing a post about their favourite body part might seem a little, I don’t know, uneventful, but for me it feels pretty damn radical.

Most of the time I look in the mirror and feel like so much of me is foreign. So much is a betrayal. But this part, it’s this little reminder that I’ve been here all along.

I’m grateful.