Inspired by the amazing @type1backpacker I decided to write about the story of my IG account’s and blog name. I got asked about it quite a lot since I started blogging, but I never reeeally opened up about it. So here we go, buckle up and be prepared for a very long post.
During my high school years, I always wanted to fit in. It was super important to me that everybody liked me – which, I know is impossible, though when I was younger, I thought that my worth was measured by other people’s opinions of me, weather they liked me and thought that I was pretty. Which, of course, is complete and utter nonsense – but it took me a loooong time to figure that out.
I valued other peoples’ opinions about me more than my own. So, during my first four years of high school, there were three guys who started making fun of me.
They made fun of the way I looked and dressed, constantly made jokes about my weight and the fact that my face turns red super quick when I get embarrassed or excited – which also earned me the name “tomato face”.
They made jokes about me playing the violin, loving classical music and that I just was…different I guess. For me, it was emotional torture. It came to a point where I cried during the breaks at school while hiding in the girl’s bathroom, came home after school, hid in my room, cried even more and was afraid of going back to school the next day. I just couldn’t bare it emotionally. But I was too embarrassed to really talk about it. I felt ashamed and humiliated because of it.
What really helped me during that time was, that I knew that I had a family at home that loved me unconditionally and my friends, who always made me laugh and feel safe.
Kids can be cruel. So cruel. And hurt you in a way, that makes you doubt and start hating yourself. Especially when you’re young, it’s so much easier to get into one’s head. At one point I just started believing them and what they said about me. I thought, that maybe they were right: Maybe I was fat, ugly, stupid and weird – that nobody was supposed to like me because of that. Maybe it was all my fault that they treated me like that. Maybe I just deserved that.
One of the guys then started calling me “Onne” because he thought it was super funny since “Onne ist eine Tonne” (Onne is a barrel). They played songs like “Fat Anna is sitting in a boat”.
It tore me apart on the inside. With every song, every time that they made fun of me, I broke a little more on the inside. I started hating myself even more.
I hated that name. I hated how they treated me. I did not understand it. I just did not understand what I had done to them, that caused them to treat me in such a way.
But somehow, unwillingly, “Onne” turned into my nickname.
Fast forward a couple of years: I had already gotten my diagnosis with t1d and looked for a platform to share my experiences and thoughts about living with my diabetes diva to help and inspire other people to live their best life – which eventually lead me to creating my blog and IG account. However, I couldn’t decide on how I wanted to name it.
It was my mom who gave me the idea to start writing under the name “Onne Pe”. At first, I was super skeptical – since it had so many bad memories attached to it. I didn’t want to associate such horrible experiences with something, that felt like a completely fresh start to me.
However, my mom suggested that I could use these negative memories and turn them into something positive. So the name “Onne Pe” (Pe as an abbreviation for my surname) was born. And oh boy, was she right.
Now, 6 years later…and I am so glad I did it. Because the name, that once hurt me so much, helped me create something, that changed my life for the better. I got to meet the most amazing people, travel the world and learn so much about myself.
I learnt about the importance of mental health, that it is okay to reach out, when you’re not feeling okay. It taught me, that my confidence should not be built on extrinsic sources and other peoples’ opinions about me but that it is supposed to be developed through self-analysis of my actions, thoughts and qualities.
It showed me, that I am so much more than what people think I am. That self-love is the most important love and that I should treat myself lovingly and with patience. Self-love isn’t achieved over night, it is a constant journey. I learned, that my body is my home and that I should treat it carefully and respectfully instead of destroying it with self-doubt and hate. It taught me, to be kind to other people. Always. Because you never know, what someone is going through. Everybody has their own unique story and should be treated with respect.