For a long, long time in my life, I struggled with my looks and my body. I was constantly comparing myself to everyone around me. I was too thin, I was too short, my hair wasn’t long or ‘nice’ enough, I was not pretty enough. Of course, it did not help that other people around me would basically say the same things to me. There wasn’t anyone (that I could remember off the bat) that championed my cause when I was a young impressionable girl. The teenage years were particularly hard since my almost boyish frame made me stand out, and not in a good way. I know all too well the cruelty of children and the cruelty of teenagers. I know all too well how words can carve out a deep hole in your soul that you may struggle for years to simply find the bottom; much less to fill.
Needless to say, when I turned 19 years old, and I realised that this was going to be the face that I had to live with for the rest of my life; I decided to change some things. I decided that I needed to go on a journey to find out who I truly was inside, and no longer allow the words of others to define me. Just because ‘Jessica’ told me I was ugly meant that I really was, just because ‘Tom’ told me I was not sexy enough, meant that I really was…I had to separate their words from my own reality. I had to carve out my own space in this world.
So I set upon a journey that I am still on at 35 years of age. A journey that has been a roller-coaster of emotions and heartbreak and euphoria and everything in between. A journey that had been completely worth it. I have become a lot more firm in who I am and what I stand for, and I no longer allow people to dictate who I am, what I should believe, or what (or who) I should love. It was not an easy journey by any means, but what I learned about myself was amazing. I took joy in the best of me and the not so good parts I have been trying to polish.
My journey took the form of serious introspection and a willingness to try new things (even if I try them in secret first). While there are still parts of my self I still keep (relatively) hidden from most people, I am more open to the parts of me that make me, me. I have taken to the whole ‘sorry, not sorry’ mode of action. No, I will no longer apologise for being me. No, just because you crafted an entire life for me does not mean that that is who I am, or would ever be. No, just no.
This is just my face and I am in love with it; every mole and every spot I will own.
This is just my body and it is the only one that I will ever have, it is beautiful with all the things it can do (and not do).
I will not say something cliche like I love myself, flaws and all; but I will say I love myself even with the ‘flaws’ I do have. I own them all. The ones I can fix, I fix; the ones that I can’t, I accept and tweak to my satisfaction. Have me as I am, or don’t have me at all. Simple. As an introvert, I am not clamouring for friends so if you have an issue with this face, it is best you move it right along. Plus, at 35, I have no plans to have emotional distress over how much your own emotions can and will affect my life. I try to love my life experiences, have no regrets and hold no grudges. Try it sometime. Release the shackles of external expectations and find out who you are; it really is quite thrilling when you meet your true self and fall in love.