My road to Self Confidence (Part One)

“A flower doesn’t think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms”

There are 7.442 billion people on this beautiful Earth. Though this can be perceived as scary and leaning towards overpopulation of our planet, most of the time those numbers mean more than just a scale or an analysis. We often tend to forget that while we may be going through either an emotional time or difficulties in our lives, someone else out there may actually experience the same things. As humans, it is normal to share, to feel and to experience something similar. With this in mind, I want to share with you the beginning of my journey towards self acceptance and self confidence.

As a child, you never really comprehend what means to be confident. Once you gradually move towards becoming a teenager, everything you ever slightly thought about yourself changes. This is the “teen phenomenon” as I like to call it. It is a period of total confusion and hormonal change both in body and mind. I, of course, was a victim as every single one of you were. I remember the first time I actually gave a damn about the way I looked. I was 15 years old, ready to take my middle school graduation photos and right then and there my inner voice told me: you don’t look great.  After that moment, I began to be more and more aware of my imperfections, of my bushy and burned hair, of my smile, of my eyebrows etc. Having more and more pimples did not help as well. I cannot tell you or even count how many times I’ve stared at myself in the mirror, examining everything I thought was wrong with me. Soon, imperfection was all I saw. For the next four years of my life I would view everyone but myself as beautiful. How is it possible to find beauty everywhere else but not within you? My family would always tell me that I am beautiful, and though these comments were comforting, in the back of your mind you also think : oh but it’s their job to tell me this. 

In this fogginess of low self esteem, I never actually realised that what you feel about yourself is also felt by others around you. Until the age of 18 and even 19, I would not even accept my friends’ comments because I got it into my head that they were just being sweet. After I got my braces off (yes, I did wear braces for one year and a half), just before my 19th birthday, I finally felt a glimpse of that confidence everyone was telling me about. It was a great, but also, only the beginning. As I graduated high school, I started taking care of myself more. Instead of plugging the hell out of my eyebrows, I would let them grow and eventually find my natural shape. I started taking care of my hair which, at that time, unknown to many, was probably my biggest insecurity.  I was grateful of it being so thick and wavy but it was really difficult to manage especially because it was burned. I finally got rid of most of my pimples and my face was looking clean for once too. During this process, I also thought that I had to do this for everyone to like me more, especially guys. Yes, I said it. I wanted to look good for guys. Not the best goal to reach but I have to admit, it gave me the motivation I needed. Now, after I’ve matured a bit more, I’ve come to the conclusion that you should be confident for YOU, and not for anyone else. After all, you are all you’ve got and it would be a shame to continue hating yourself for the rest of your life.

As I am sitting here writing this, I cannot help but stress that I am nowhere near the finish line. I still have days when I don’t feel beautiful at all. Where I am now is probably the best level of confidence I’ve ever had. It is truly fulfilling to be able to get yourself out of your own damaging thoughts. I am really proud of how far I’ve come, and I will continue everyday to feel beautiful, to smile and to be confident. And so, this is just my first chapter, a start of a journey towards self love. I want each of you to know that you are gorgeous souls who deserve the world and beyond. Never let everyone else or even you let you down. You know what they say, you can be your worst enemy.

XX

What I’ve learned in 2017

Every year means change, and with change come valuable lessons. I never really understood the true purpose of growing up, of maturing and becoming independent, just like my parents did before me and my grandparents before them. The process is at first slow, or at least our young minds perceive it as such. Then high school comes and just for a second you believe you know exactly what you want, that you know who you are and what life has to offer. This though, cannot be further from the truth. Eventually University knocks at your door, a new chapter which is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. At first, you enjoy the liberties to a point when it becomes almost like a drug. This independence has never been as strong and persistent until now. This freedom is a blessing and a curse. While it can be fulfilling, it can also be blinding. Somewhere along the line, life wakes you up in the middle of an enormous mess.

2017 has been a year of revelations, a year which impacted me in more ways than one. A new piece has been placed in the puzzle of life, and along with it, my perception of myself and what’s around me also changed. I want to start by saying that all my life I had this view that I had to be perfect. I would watch various Disney movies and believe that I was worthy of having what those princesses had. Though it’s an unrealistic thinking, I must admit that I am a dreamer and I tend to overthink some aspects. I carried this with me for a long time and I forgot to actually live in the present. I treated everything in a childish manner and this made me become someone I wasn’t. And so, I’ve learned that yes, you can have dreams, but you cannot wait for God or anyone to make them come true. I’ve learned that it is impossible to control everything you’re feeling. It is completely normal to feel anxious or depressed from time to time. You feel, you care, you love. You are not a robot. I’ve learned that you should not take anything you have for granted. You are so lucky and blessed to have people in your life that truly care about you and love you with all their heart. It is easy to forget what is really important and also equally easy to complain about everything that is going wrong in your life. You forget that others may have it much worse than you but they know how to hide their sorrow better than you. I’ve learned that you can dream like a kid, but you can’t always act like one. This is not a game anymore. It is time grow up, to start your true journey and there are going to be some obstacles in your way which you never even thought of. Although at times they can get the best of you, remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and a lesson to be learned. Also, you are HUMAN. You are bound to make mistakes. If you ever thought you can be perfect, nope, you can’t. Everyone makes mistakes, but you cannot use them as excuses. It may hurt when the ugly truth is unveiled, but be GRATEFUL because though it may seem strange, it lifts a weight of your shoulders. Things will start to make sense and it is up to you if you want to learn from those mistakes, move on and try to be a better person. I’ve learned that God can help you even in the darkest of times, even when you’ve lost all your faith. And finally, I’ve learned that YOU CANNOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. Everyone has their own unique path. The things which others want may not necessarily be what you want. Jealousy is a tricky emotion and can change you into someone you do not recognize. This past year I’ve learned more about jealousy than ever. It can consume you so much that you start treating the people around you in a way they don’t deserve. You may push them away, hurt them without realising the damage you’re making. Always remember what is most important to you. Do not be jealous of other people’s success. Instead, encourage them, be happy for them because you would want the same thing too.

I now close this chapter of my life with the idea that everything I have gone through thus far has made me want to become better. By regaining my faith, I have come to see that imperfection has its own beauty because it challenges you to be a better person. From now on, I am going to remind myself how blessed and loved I am and that dreams can come true if you believe and work hard for them. Each lesson makes you wiser and more aware of the world you live in.

To conclude this awfully long post, here’s to a new year and a new beginning. May all your dreams come true and may you fight each challenge that will come towards you with the fire I know each and every one of you has!

‘Cause every night I lie in bed

The brightest colors fill my head

A million dreams are keeping me awake

I think of what the world could be

A vision of the one I see

A million dreams is all it’s gonna take

A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make’

– A million dreams (The greatest showman)

Xx