I have aspirations for my future that have become synonymous with my identity. The vision is clear in my head and I’m proud to have discovered my path. There’s one element, though, that I haven’t woven into this idyllic future of mine. It’s one that I can’t afford to overlook anymore. It’s the desire to be beautiful.

I’ve been quick to judge my longing to appear attractive. I’ve labeled it vain and buried it under the rug with a heavy dose of shame. Since I was blessed with so many wonderful things, I felt it was greedy to host this desire for something so incredibly superficial.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this subject. As someone who tends to overanalyze every little thing whether significant or not, I poured thoughts like a waterfall into the idea of beauty. All these ponderings bonded together to form a love/hate relationship with the concept of being beautiful. On one hand, there was nothing I secretly desired more than to obtain physical attractiveness. Another voice in my head, however, loathed the quest to seek beauty. It grew too arduous rather quickly. It was overwhelming enough to put a swift end to my endeavor to become beautiful. It left a void that I needed to fill some other way.

So I kept on searching for something other than that. There was nothing comparable to the elaborate image of beauty I had long ago constructed in my head. At least it seemed that way at first. I soon realized that my unreasonable hunt for beauty had effectively blocked me from engaging in countless aspects of my life. It had given me feelings of insecurity that led me to isolate myself from other people. My journey changed with this realization. Instead of pursuing beauty and all its dangers, I fought to break down the walls I had unknowingly built around me. I haven’t stopped.

Throughout this expedition, I’ve been blissfully surprised to discover new forms of beauty I had never imagined. I consider myself overwhelmingly fortunate to have learned being beautiful is intangible and abstract. I never bought into the cliche “beauty is on the inside” thing before, but I was humbled to see it may actually possess some truth. It’s a simplification of something raw and precious. I’ve adapted it into my own personal truth.

It would be a ginormous lie if I said I’ve ditched the quest for physical beauty. I really haven’t. I’ve just gotten a clearer vision on beauty’s meaning. It’s enabled me to see how narrow my perspective once was. At one time I wouldn’t have been able to write this because the idea of being beautiful would have been strictly corporeal. I’m glad to have the insight now to broaden that two-dimensional definition.

I know I’m not alone with these feelings. There are countless people across the globe who experience the same emotional downfall as a result of wanting to be beautiful. I just want to tell all those people that I understand and that it’s possible to overcome it. I want you all to feel some sense of beauty because I know for a fact that it’s inside all of you. And excuse for this little display of sentiment, but you’re worth it.

You’re worth it.