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  • Stephanie G Johnson

Love your imperfections

I have heterochromia iridum. What’s that, you ask? Is it contagious? Is it dangerous? Do I need to wear a mask when I’m near you? Nope. It just means I have two different colored eyes: "different (hetero-) colors (-chromia)."






When I was younger, I disliked having two different colored eyes. I wanted to be “normal.” As a kid, sometimes, I forgot about my eye colors, and then, when I looked in the mirror, I was reminded, “Oh--you’re the one I know with two different colored eyes!” If I noticed someone looking at me, I assumed they shocked by my eye color. I recall walking down hallways in high school and college thinking, “They just noticed my eyes...oh no!” If it was a guy who caught my eye, I believed they wouldn’t want to talk to me let alone ask me out. As an adult, I wished I had the perfect come-back when people would say, “Did you know you have two different colored eyes?” Yep, people actually said that! WHAT? I had no idea! Instead, I’d just say, “Yeah--I wish my eyes were the same color."

In my 30’s, I tried wearing colored contacts to make my eyes the same color. I just needed to see what I looked like as a “normal” person. Boy did I hear it from my friends and family! "Get those contacts out!" No one liked the way my eyes looked! The green contacts made me look like the Incredible Hulk. The brown contacts made my eyes too dark and muddy--it looked like I didn’t have a pupil. My family and friends pleaded with me to go back to my clear contacts...and I did. But, secretly, I still wished my eyes were the same color.


Fast forward to 2020. I stumbled on a Facebook post about loving your imperfections. And, I started thinking, “What if I embraced my heterochromia as a superpower

?” I’m a very visual person and am sensitive to non-verbal cues/behaviors. How could my eyes help me see new or different perspectives? What do I see that others don’t? What have I been missing? In what ways does this free up space to see new perspectives all around me?


And then I saw this quote and started feeling a little closer to loving my imperfections.



"hey you. yes, you. stop being unhappy with yourself. you are perfect. stop wishing you looked like someone else or wishing people like you as much as they like someone else. stop trying to get attention from those who hurt you. stop hating your body, your face, your personality, your quirks, love them. without those things you wouldn't be you. and why would you want to be anyone else? be confident with who you are. smile. it'll draw people in. if anyone hates on you because you are happy with yourself then stick your middle finger in the air and say screw it. my happiness will not depend on others anymore. i'm happy because i love who i am. i love my flaws. i love my imperfections. they make me me. and "me" is pretty amazing."


How close are you to embracing and loving your imperfect self?


Smile and remember that YOU are Amazing!





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Stephanie G. Johnson, MSSW, ACC

Madison, WI

​​Tel: 608-469-0336

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