I’ve always been self-conscious and insecure when it came to my looks. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always dreaded looking in the mirror. Always been too tall, too skinny, too much acne and then when the acne subsided, too many scars. It seems when I would “fix’” something, something else would need changing. When I got to college I channeled my insecurities into something positive. I delved into fitness and simply created a plan to not only build the person that I wanted to be physically, but to be that person mentally as well. I literally made it my mission to be a better me, the best me.
And then, just when I thought I was doing well. I got a boyfriend.
I met someone whom I adored, and whom I believed adored me despite the way he treated me. And little by little, piece-by-piece, our relationship started to pick at me, to break me down, and before I could even blink I was that same deeply insecure girl from before. But this time the insecurity was different; it was emotional. The way I looked became a second priority, now my drug of choice was uncertainty. I became so deeply uncertain of the way that I felt and the way that men made me feel. Once so strong and deeply rooted in my beliefs and what was right or wrong for me, I now feared to speak my mind, I questioned if my feelings were valid, if I had a right to be sad/mad/uneasy. Never had I ever needed validation from anyone. Yes, I was insecure, but I never looked to other people to make me feel better about it. I never looked to men to determine my sense of self or my worth.
But now I did.
I found myself trying to please men. To be the girl they wanted, the girl they desired, and the girl they would chase. I found myself shutting up and avoiding conversations because unopened doors left no room for uncomfortable or unpleasant conversations. I literally lost my ability to say “no”.
And while I worked to gain male validation, I quickly began to lose myself. Because apparently the girl that I am, is not the girl they want. The girl that spoke her mind, and put her foot down wasn’t that attractive. My plan worked and I got the male attention, the dm’s, the looks. As the attention grew, my self-esteem fell. It was like one of those negative correlations that I had learned about in STAT 200.
And yes, that validation felt really good for like 3 seconds. 1,2,3… then what? You feel pretty, sometimes even sexy. But where does validation get us after we get home, or after we put down our phones? Cause I was still very much alone, and I still felt like a piece of shit.
I legitimately believed that Leila wasn’t good enough and that she needed to be someone else to find someone to love her. I had put my all in a relationship before, I had been wholeheartedly myself, and that got me NOWHERE. So obviously I was the problem, it was me, and I needed to change.
I put what I really wanted on the back-burner, and put on a façade hoping that it would reel them in and make them want to get to know the real me. The real me, the me who craves conversation, comfort, and acts of service. The real me that binge watches history documentaries, loves backrubs, and is trying their very hardest to be happy. The real me, that just wants the person I want to want me back, not my body, but ME. Who wants to be able to speak my mind and say how I feel without worrying that it will make someone mad.
It’s lost on me when I actually started to feel like being myself wasn’t enough… like I had nothing to offer.
I think this habit of mine, stems back to a real fear of male rejection. A fear that if I express myself, someone might get offended or leave me. A fear of confrontation and conflict. There can’t be any problems if I don’t speak up about what’s bothering me right? I have this intense need to please. To make sure that everyone else is happy and taken care of. I’m quick to push my feelings aside, my reasoning to the back, in order to make sure that other people are comfortable. And I know no woman wants to admit this… that they might actually care about what men think of them. But I did. I really did. I never experienced this crippling fear of rejection when I talked to women. I never felt scared to share how I felt or stand up for myself when it came to my female peers. I was oh-so quick with it, sometimes borderline rude. Always ready to check a girl, but a coward when it came to the boys.
But here’s the thing. I’m tired of doing it. I’m tired of apologizing for how I feel. I’m tired of feeling guilty or wrong for making someone aware of how their actions made me feel. I’m tired of backtracking and explaining myself. Why am I apologizing to you if you’re the one who made me feel bad? You hurt my feelings, yet I’m the one saying sorry? It doesn’t make any sense.
I don’t know what got into me. But I know that I’m tired of pretending that I am okay. I’m tired of acting like other people’s actions towards me don’t make me feel bad… don’t make me feel inadequate. God, I’ve felt so inadequate lately. So undeserving of love, of happiness, of anything good. I’m tired of pretending that I’m something that I am not in order to please other people. Because they never end up staying, and I always end up feeling empty. I’m tired of feeling like me without the persona, the suppressed feelings, the fake laughs, the gym poses, isn’t enough.
If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I’m all about addressing my flaws, the things that I can work on, and actually taking the steps to fix them. You know that I’ve been on this journey of self-love, womanhood, and confidence for a very long time. And you know that on this journey I’ve made some really bad decisions. I’ve taken 10 steps forward just to turn around and take 20 back. There have times when I felt like I hit the rockiest of bottoms and times when I was on cloud 9. I’m working everyday to get to a place in my self-love journey where I can truly AND fully believe that I am worth it. Not just on some days, or when my hair is laid and my skin is cooperating. I’m working to be in this mindset every. single. day. Because regardless of how I look, how shitty my day is going, or how awful someone might treat me, I should never let those things shake my foundation.
I’m worthy and worth it on my good days AND on my worst days.
I’ve written it, I’ve said it, now I just need to believe it.