For as long as I can remember, I have cared what other people think of me. I remember being a little girl and growing my bangs out because some girl in elementary school said something mean about them. I remember being in eighth grade and loving a sweater that I picked out with my mom and proudly wearing it on school picture day, only to have someone make a mean comment about it, causing me to donate it to Goodwill (fun fact, I found the exact same sweater at Goodwill not too long ago and bought it back... funny how fate works like that). I remember, when I was fourteen, a boy making a comment about my make-up free face, looking me dead in the eye, and saying: "You could be pretty if you tried."
It was those various formative moments in my youth that caused my ultimate self-consciousness. For most of my life, I am not always brave, I am not always proud of what I can do or who I am. It totally sucks being insecure. There are many things that I love to do, from photography, to singing, to sketching, to running, to yoga; I have many hobbies that I indulge in. However, it is incredibly difficult to be secure in the fact that I am able to achieve them. There are many instances where I compare myself to other people, especially in art, and I care so incredibly much about their response and feedback. I spend so much time worrying and wondering what other people think of me. I wonder if I will be good enough for them, or if I can become someone respected and reputable in the fields that I love.
The worry and anxiety that results from my insecurities as an incredibly flawed human being often lead me to forget the love I have for my hobbies. I forget why I run, why I do yoga, why I do art. What is lost in the forgotten is underlying motive for why I do what I do, and the reason is simply because I love it. I completely forgot that I loved my hair with bangs in kindergarten, or that I loved the school picture day sweater I picked out with my mom, or that I loved the way my face looks without make-up.
Getting caught up in what other people think of me is the most difficult thing to reconcile with. It has so often made me hate the things that I had once loved, simply because of someone's stupid opinion. I have, for most of my life, put on a performance of the "me" that other people projected upon my soul. However, what other people think of me is not always the reality, but rather a mere interpretation of it. Understanding and identifying the love behind why I enjoy my hobbies and the reasons that I love it is the only remedy to finding my own security.