“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.