*Just a heads up, this is a revamped, in-depth version of a previous Tumblr/Facebook post.*
I don’t think I’ve ever truly loved myself for who I am as a whole. Bits and pieces of myself, yes (my intellect, style, eyes, smile, hair, legs,etc), but me as an entity, absolutely not.
Over the years I’ve received many comments along the lines of, “Do you know how pretty you’d be if you lost weight?”, “You sure are pretty for a dark-skinned girl”, and “I didn’t know big girls could dress like that! You look cute!” All of these sideways, ignorant comments thrown my way imply that I am somehow lacking because of my appearance. Not once did it occur to people that they were slowly damaging my self-image; and, it wasn’t until recently that I even realized that I truly had so many issues with myself.
Despite contrary belief, I am not a social butterfly. I am a social introvert, and to quite frank, social situations make me extraordinarily uncomfortable. Can you guess why? I am in a constant state of feeling inadequate. No matter, the situation, I feel like I don’t fit in, can’t possibly be good enough, etc, etc. People are naturally drawn to me, but I tend to push them away in fear that maybe I’m just not as amazing as they seem to think I am.
Since I’ve been in college I’ve gained and lost many a friend, discovered that some of the people who I thought were toxic are in fact the people I should have in my corner and that some who I thought were “good” are actually the ones that should be removed from my life. There are individuals that cross your path who are not as good for you as you’d like to think. For example, I had a “friend” whom I thought I could trust and depend on. However, when my mom was put in the hospital 30 miles away from my school and 80+ away from my family, I really needed that person’s support and they were nowhere to be found. We haven’t spoken since my Sophomore year.
I used to hold on to friends based upon the belief that no one else could want me around. The funny thing is, by retaining harmful relationships, I was holding myself back from growth and expansion to better opportunities in life. You can’t expect to have some big epiphany about your life’s purpose if you do not open your mind and allow yourself to discover what life has to offer you. Believe it or not, some people just don’t want to see you get to that point.
Before university life, I also had qualms about failure and what it meant to my chances at success. To put things short, I failed a class my sophomore year when my mom got really sick and I was responsible for her care, my care, school (I was taking 3 sciences), and my student organization. I was initially distraught. After some crying and depression, I got myself together and reconsidered what my failure meant. I would have to work two times as hard to learn the material because I clearly hadn’t grasped it the first time and prove that I have the intellectual capacity to make it out successfully. Ultimately, failure is bound to happen when you’re climbing the ladder to success.
There have been many lessons learned over the past few years; and, among them I’ve learned to begin accepting that I am who I am. Regardless of my faults, insecurities, etc. I am who I am, and there are things that I will never be able to alter about my being. As for the things that are in my control, I can’t just pretend they don’t exist because indeed they do. I also cannot allow those characteristics to hold me back from prosperity.
At the end of the day, you have to sit down and ask yourself, “Do I really accept every single detail about myself?” In order to truly be comfortable in your own skin, you have to love even the thing you despise most about yourself.