Poetry on Odyssey: Dear Self

Poetry on Odyssey: Dear Self

Sometimes we can be really hard on ourselves and we don't have to be.
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Dear Self


Dear Self,

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for pointing out your flaws every waking day.

I never tell you how beautiful you truly are,

Finding something new to bring you down once again.


I mean no one is flawless but your flaws make you,

And I haven't told you how important they are.

One look in the mirror turns into a judgement session,

Rather than praising you and uplifting you, I tear you down.

Your head is big, hair a mess, pimples are forming, is that a double chin?


Your arms got fatter, your stomach is getting bigger.

There's no chance at romance. I mean girl, just give up.

With a body like that, no one will want you.

Just stop eating, what's so hard about that?

Why are you crying?


God, I'm sorry I'm doing it again.

I focus too much on what society wants from you.

Every change YOU want can only be done for YOU.

Girl, you have to love yourself before others can love you.

Yes, you are a bit chubby than most, small changes can turn that around.


When you look in the mirror,

Remind yourself that you are beautiful. Flaws included.

You should see your eyes first, and notice that they are the sea.

Ready to let lovers dive into your grace.

You should see cupid bow lips, a soft rose pink,

And let us not forget the outstanding person that you are.


Looks and perceptions of others are not what define you.

How you decide to view yourself is how others will see you too.

I'll stop being hard on you, even though sometimes it just happens.

You're worth the world and it is better with you IN IT.



Cover Image Credit: LinkedIn

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6 Things That Shape Us To The Be The Person That We Are Now

Every person has a story that makes them who they are, and even still, we continue to change more and more everyday.
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"Describe something or an event that makes you who you are today."

Sometime in our lives, we've had this question in front of us. Maybe it was when we were submitting our college applications and sent our personal statements to our dream schools. Maybe it was that time we had that nerve-wrecking interview that you seem to never forget about. Or maybe it was a question that someone you just met asked you.

Well, what's the answer? What is something that made you the person that you are today? Now, you find yourself scrambling through a bunch of events that happened in your life. You realize that there were so many things that changed you, even the littlest things that you never thought of. What is the biggest story that really made you the person that you are now? That's the thing, there is no ONE story to describe who you are.

When we think of things that made you the person that you are today, we can put things into categories that help us tell these stories:

1. Family

Coming as person who is super family-oriented, I can say myself that family is a big part of my life. Sometimes, I don't realize how much of an impact they have on me, whether they are my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. As we grow up, we tend to start distancing ourselves from our family, but at the same time, we hold them close to our hearts. We distance ourselves to grow and become independent, but at the end of the day, we know that we are here because of them. We are grateful for them in bringing us into this world and walking with us every step of the way, even when it is hard to. They continue to fight for the best so that we can get the best. You are the person that you are today because they have become role models. You look up to them.

2. Friends

We've all heard of the line, "Friends come and go." I probably cannot count the amount of friends who left my life with only my hands, but that's okay. You will find yourself meeting new people everyday. Sometimes, you become close, and sometimes you fall apart. It is something you cannot control, especially if you've done everything to keep the friendship. Be grateful that you had this friendship. Every person who walks into your life, whether they are different or similar to you, shows you a different perspective of life. They have something to teach you about life. Maybe it was their personality, or maybe it was the way they left your life. Maybe it was those turn outs that taught you something new. Regardless, we all have stories of friends who have shaped our lives for the good or bad. Do you remember the last time you met someone so similar to you, and you wondered where they have been all your life? Well that's just the wonderful thing about friendships - they are countless, exciting, and spontaneous. And they can develop to be even more than a friendship.

3. School, career, and passions

As we decide what we want to do for the rest our lives or just even the track that we want to follow, we run into bumpy roads. Sure, it would be nice if we could just do the things that we wanted to do without struggling. But that's where passion comes in. Passion is what drives us to continue. We find obstacles in front of us that stops us from pursuing what we want to do. These "falls" are something that shape us to be who we are. Our accomplishments are great, but it is the failures that mean even more. Without them, we would not have the strength to get up even better to continue to walk this road. Without them, we would not know what accomplishments are. Without them, we would not know how good it felt when we finally see something great in front of us that we worked so hard for.

4. Relationships

Love is a fascinating, but also a delicate thing. It's crazy what love can do to you. It's even crazier with the feeling that it gives you. It is that feeling that drives us to continue to love so dangerously. Some relationships fail immediately, while some start to fall apart itself slowly - and of course, the ones that last. But regardless of how the relationship ends, there's one thing about all of it. They are all amazing. Why? Because each relationship you had shaped you to be the person you are today. Maybe it shaped your personality, or maybe it shaped your next relationship. Maybe it taught you how you are with another person. Maybe it taught you to love properly, or most importantly - maybe it taught you that you have to love yourself before you let yourself love another person. And just maybe, this is why you are the person you are now.

5. Deaths

Life is an amazing thing, so when we lose someone or see deaths happen around us, it shakes us up. It's crazy how long and short life can be simultaneously. Life is spontaneous, and that's the scary part. Who knows what can happen today? Whenever someone passes, we tell each other, "Cherish the ones you love and care about. Show them what they mean to you before it's too late." Deaths are constant reminders that nothing is forever, but you can make up for that by how you use your days. Maybe there are deaths that push you and motivate you to fight even harder for what you want. Regardless of what the story is, it puts you on the edge of life.

6. Opportunities

We can strive for the best in the things that we want to do, but if you do not take the opportunities to do so, even if you tried - it would not happen. You can tell yourself that you're into a person, and that he/she is someone you've been indirectly looking for all your life, but if you do not take the opportunity to approach this person, there's no point. You can also tell yourself that you are going to make up all the times you've messed up, but if you do not take the opportunities, you will continue to just tell yourself. And that's the thing about life. We are given a countless amount of opportunities in front of us. These chances that we take and turn down is what shapes us up to be the person that we are. We will always think back to the things that we had the chance to do and try, but at the same time, we will always think back to the "What if's" in our lives. It is this that keeps us going and directs us to be the person that we are now.

So the next time someone asks you what shaped you to be the person that you are today, I guess a good way in describing that is - life. There are so many things part of life that we can't tell a person all at once what made us who we are because in reality, everything changes us even when we dont realize it. And that's another thing about life. It's always changing. You are always changing.


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Double Standards Towards Straight Males Are Harmful To Both Men And Women

There's an unfair double standard that while straight women can have fun with their sexuality, straight men aren't allowed to.

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I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline a few days ago and came across an article that intrigued me. It was about a video of Ezra Miller's band Sons of an Illustrious Father, covering "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls. The cover was interesting and the video was very artistic. However, it was something else lit up a fire of extreme annoyance within me.

Towards the end of the article, bandmate Lilah Larson said the original song has a "very destructive, dated, distinctly heterosexual male perspective on women and discourses of desire."

It got me thinking about the way male heterosexuality is viewed in today's culture. There seems to be an unfair double standard when it comes to straight men and straight women. When straight women are confident in their sexuality and have fun with it, they're often viewed as empowering. When straight men do the same, they're often viewed as predatory.

In recent years, much of this attitude can be stemmed from the growth of the #MeToo movement. I would hope it's clear that you can't judge a group of people based on the bad actions of some. Not to mention the fact that there's a big difference between sexual harassment and men simply having fun with their sexuality.

Don't get me wrong, I believe sexual harassment and assault is wrong. It's a horrible crime that nobody should have to experience or endure. However, the obvious gender disparity in terms of representation is helping nobody. When Harvey Weinstein's female accusers come forward, nobody can escape the headlines. Yet, when Asia Argento was accused of the same thing by Jimmy Bennett, the story came and went fairly quickly. There was even a photo of the two in bed and texts Rose McGowan's partner provided where Argento admitted the whole thing. There's also the untrue perception that if it's a male victim, he must've wanted it and should've enjoyed it. It's no wonder so many men don't come forward about these sorts of incidents.

My point being that men shouldn't be treated as predators while women are treated as angelic creatures who can do no wrong. I don't think it should be the other way around, either. And I don't think we should treat both as predators, because that will only bring us to a place of prudishness. We should be able to recognize when something is harassment and when it isn't. We also need to recognize when objectification is harmful and when it isn't.

Not all women like to be objectified, but there are some women (and men) who get off on it. Some women even sign up for it, like in the adult entertainment industry. In that case, they might not be getting off on it, but there's an understanding and it's consensual.

We also can't assume that a man is objectifying a woman just because he likes the way she looks. Especially if it's just a woman in a magazine or someone walking down the street. What else does he know about her? At that point, all he knows is her looks. You can be sexually attracted to someone in a solely physical way and still think of them as a human being.

I grew up in a time when women were starting to take ownership of their sexuality and express it more in their art. It was a new shift that some people weren't used to. However, the place it's evolved to doesn't seem to be a fair one. I believe that what was meant to be a push for equality moved into a place of replaced superiority. While the pop music world is currently ruled by women, men come secondary, if at all.

We see it in the imagery as well. A female pop star can have a bunch of shirtless guys bumping and grinding behind her. But if a man were to do the same thing, we would claim he's objectifying those women. Look at the controversy surrounding Robin Thicke's song, "Blurred Lines." People called the song "rapey" and demeaning to women. They took particular issue with the line, "I know you want it."

Yet, when Jessie J released her song "Bang Bang" shortly afterward, it included the same lyric. Even "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls included this line as well. However, nobody was batting an eye. It was given a pass, if not completely ignored.

When you look into what these critics say, it comes across as pretty insulting to the women they're trying to defend. Most people missed the fact that the "Blurred Lines" music video was directed by a woman. They also don't seem interested in the perspectives of the female models who appear in the video. Do the models think they're being demeaned? Why would they appear in such a video if they did?

Women still have to fight this battle of being able to prove they can own their sexuality. It's only acceptable if it's done in a way that falls in line with the status quo. But if you dare participate in something outside of that, you're seen as someone who couldn't possibly think for yourself. Look at the straight porn industry, for instance. Many people view porn as degrading to women and look at female porn stars as being objectified by men.

What many fail to realize, is that women in porn make the choice to get into the industry. People aren't forcing these women to make porn films. Female porn stars get to choose their male scene partners. They also make more money than their male co-stars. In straight porn, women make more money than men for the same hours worked in the same job at the same company. Think about that. Why aren't feminists getting angry over a gender pay gap that underpays men?

What has become clear to me is that this double standard is harmful to both men and women. Straight men should be allowed to have fun and enjoy the opposite sex the same way women can. Women should be able to take control of their sexuality whichever way they choose. The lesson everyone should learn from this is to lighten up. Male heterosexuality isn't inherently harmful or scary. Women have a mind of their own. If people really believed in gender equality, they would accept those two things.

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