It Took Me This Long To Love Myself
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

It Took Me This Long To Love Myself

I never really loved myself. Until now.

214
It Took Me This Long To Love Myself
Alex Engel

When I was a little girl, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was cool. With my gel sandals, my little 90s dresses, my princess nightgowns, my big barbie playhouse, and my new little brother as a hot topic to talk about at school, I had to be cool. I would march around the playground, I would color inside the lines, I would eat my pepperoni pizza Lunchable and make sure that everyone knew I had it. Everyone had to have loved me.

Because I thought I loved myself.

When I started middle school and my mom let me wear make up for the first time, I thought I was so cool. I would look at myself in the mirror when I got the chance because I loved the way my eyelids sparkled. The girls that made fun of me, they had to love me now, right? I was finally pretty like them. Maybe they'd let me sit with them at lunch, they'd include me at recess. They had to love me now.

Because I thought I loved myself.

I thought the first day I wore my first cheer uniform, was the day my life was going to change. I wasn't good at school, or friends, or saying the right things, or being funny, or looking pretty. But I was finally good at something and was finally apart of something. Maybe that would make me friends. They had to love me now that I was a cheerleader, right?

Because I thought I loved myself.

Then high school came, and boy's started paying attention to me. They found me pretty, they complimented me, that was new. I was okay with it, I wasn't going to give my attention to just any boy, like all the other girls did, and I sure didn't do the things they did. But that meant I would attract the right guy. And I thought I did. He said nice things to me, told me I was pretty, took me places, made me laugh, spent time with me, surprised me with gifts, and made me happy. He told me he loved me.

So, I thought I loved myself.

Then I graduated, and I found new relationships, new loves, new friends, new past times, and a new style. I did the things they did, but it wasn't the things I wanted to do. Their lives is what I wanted my life to be like. So if I did the same things, and wore the same things, and went to the same places, and liked the same music, my life would become like their life. I loved what they're lives were like, so if that was my life...

Well then, I thought, I loved myself.

I didn't love myself. Sure, I used to, but that wasn't who I was. I wasn't who I wanted to be. I was pretending to be somebody else, so others would accept me, so I could love myself. I was tricking myself into being accepted and loved by others to be able to love myself. Sure, I marched to my own drum, and I lived by my own rules, and I didn't let any one else tell me what to do. But when I did that, nobody liked me.

So, I didn't really, truly love myself.

I lost it all. Just like the snap of my fingers, it was gone, and I was lost. And that's when I really realized that I didn't love myself. That I was just pretending to be somebody else to get other people to like me. Because I couldn't like myself if other people didn't like me. How could I love myself when other people didn't even love me?

I decided to actually love myself.

I stopped living to make other people happy. I liked my own music, I wore my own style, I did my make up the way I wanted, I majored in something I loved, I joined clubs I was interested in. I went out to enjoy myself, not be with other people. I stopped worrying what they thought, and started worrying what I thought. I stopped worrying on missing out on memories, and started creating my own memories.

I became myself. And, even though it took me this long to figure it out, guess what?

I love myself.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

67166
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

43276
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

968029
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments