Letter from the Editor: Why I’m Thankful for Living Dappled
Letter from the Editor:
Each Thanksgiving, my family takes turns sharing what they are most thankful for. My answer this holiday will be easy – I’m thankful for our Dappled Darling community.
This November marks just five months since Living Dappled launched this past June. These past months have been a whirlwind of life-changing connections and conversations that have shifted my view of the vitiligo community and given me purpose.
My goal is to share the stories and conversations happening among girls with vitiligo to inspire women to pursue fuller lives and find acceptance and joy in their unique beauty. It turns out though, that in doing this work, the Living Dappled community has in turn inspired me and given me a life full of acceptance and purpose.
Here are three reasons my heart is full of gratitude:
Being a part of this blog and community has given me purpose.
They say that you should “follow your passion” to find meaning in the work you do. For years, I struggled to find my purpose and my passion – and then I realized it was sitting right in front of me. I work in communications professionally and while I was pursuing my career, the idea for Living Dappled was sitting in the back of my mind. When I finally had the courage and drive to turn Living Dappled into a reality, I realized that I had found a way to use my skills in a way that would help a community that was close to my heart. I found my passion, and my purpose.
Connecting with the vitiligo community has helped me accept my own skin.
For twenty years, I barely spoke to another person with vitiligo – and rarely saw them. I was blind to the entire vitiligo community around me. So when I started researching for Living Dappled and seeing pictures of other people with vitiligo, I was a little anxious. Negative, doubt-filled thoughts flooded my mind – it was like looking in a mirror again for the first time in years and really seeing my own skin reflected on so many others. And then something incredible happened – the more I scrolled through Instagram, pouring through photos of girls with vitiligo, the more I actually saw the spots on these girls as beautiful. Today, when I see a girl with spots, I genuinely see beauty. And that shift in perspective has helped me accept my own skin.
Sharing my story has allowed me to heal.
For most of my life, I’ve kept my struggles with vitiligo to myself. So when I sat down to start writing for Living Dappled last January, twenty years of emotion and pain were flowing through my fingers and onto that keyboard. I would get up in the dark hours of the day, before I had to go to work each morning, and would sit at my desk and let the words fill the pages. And as I typed, I would cry – hot tears streaming down my face. It was so hard to talk about all of these things and to put them in words. But it was also healing. The more I wrote, the more comfortable I was with talking about my skin and my story. Today, I don’t think twice before sharing my experiences.
I am so grateful for how Living Dappled has shaped my life in the past few months – and I know that we’re just getting started.
Happiest of Thanksgivings!
– Erika Page, Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Erika Page is the Founder and Editor of Living Dappled. After getting vitiligo at the age of seven, she lost 100% of her pigment to the condition and today lives with universal vitiligo.