I suffered from low self-esteem for a long time. I don’t blame it completely on Society, some of it was self-induced. There is a lot behind the feeling, but what I noticed is that this monster, this low self-esteem, held me back for a very long time. It made my brain empty itself into a waste basket through my ear canal; I didn’t speak because I was afraid of sounding stupid. It made me shy, growing warm with embarrassment as I stared at myself in the dressing room mirror, noticing every little flaw that I thought needed perfecting, until I was questioning the parts of me that I couldn’t see. It was a menace.
Recently something happened, something big that I thought detrimental to my being, where my heart dropped to my stomach, stunting my appetite. I still feel the sorrow as I write now. This thing happened, and after a large realization, what I felt was a crumbling interior subsided. I realized something huge. Something life altering. I actually cared about myself.
I actually loved myself.
The realization is hard to describe, because it really is just a feeling, and somehow, I noticed the difference. I felt that my brain was free, that I had possibilities, that I was excited to adventure and experience and that when I looked at myself, I didn’t burn up with embarrassment. I disliked some things, things I knew I could change, but I didn’t dislike myself as a whole. I didn’t feel ashamed, with tears welling up in my eyes, or the need to appease everybody in hopes for constant affirmation. I didn’t feel guilty, or dependent, or any less mature. I felt stronger and grown up. I felt ready to continue with my life, for myself.
After my first year of college, after many lessons and the many wonderful people I have met and still have continuously been in my life, I realized that I knew the toxicity and that I had to deal with it. I knew the reason why I felt so terrible, and why it made me feel so much heart break. After this, I realized that I could love myself and others, and surround myself with whomever I truly wanted. That I could do great things, not just for others and their approval, but for myself. I know I have a certain amount of control over the situation, that I can be happy, and that I should just take it slow and one step at a time.
Life isn't the easiest, and the cards we are dealt are the cards we are given for some reason. You can't go back in time, but there is always a way to impact the outcome. I can't say that I won't dislike things, or feel bad, or know how to handle the situation. I can't confirm nor deny anything. I am only human. All I know is that the world isn't black and white, and that I can step back and think and hopefully do what is right. That's all for which can be hoped.
The only thing set in stone, is that I am not the same as I was yesterday. I am better.
I just wanted to mention that through these realizations, I have been reading, again and again, “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur. I got the book about a year ago, and read it multiple times, making instant connections. After everything thus far, I have connected even more to those words that she has written. They flowed easily from her heart to mine. She is one of my favorite poets so far. She is worth looking up, and her poetry is worth giving a read.