So, originally, I had planned to return from my blogging hiatus today with a really light-hearted piece. An idea I’d taken from someone I look up to and put my own spin on. I definitely plan on sharing that with you all later, but something entirely different is weighing on me much more heavily. And it’s an honest truth that’s caused me to take a breather from this blog. And from other things.
People in movies, people on tv, and people in your very own real life always tell you, “After high school it gets better.” What gets better? I think the implication is that your self-esteem gets better. Your ability to worry more about yourself and less of other people improves. You become your own entire puzzle, instead of a shitty bent puzzle piece trying to fit into the whole.
Does it get better after high school? I’m not so sure that’s true. That 100% depends on your job, and your support system, and maybe even your ability to accept adulthood more smoothly than I have. But to some degree, I think we all, at least occasionally, experience some of the things I’m about to mention. (*Occasionally is a key word here, because this is not a sob story. I do not always feel this way. I go through phases of varying lengths, that absolutely are brought on by change, and then I come out on the other side, feeling like a baller.)
This little rant is for any of you out there feeling the same way. And I know some of you do.
So, what the eff am I talking about? I have definitely rambled enough to lose the point. But, here goes.
As I’ve mentioned about 28 thousand times, I have a new job. I have not at all elaborated on this, but just to tell you about my general industry, I’m in corporate retail. 95% of this job is badass. The building is really cool. I’ve sat through several meetings that feel akin to The Devil Wears Prada (but in a good way, lol). I even work collaboratively with people who are forecasting fashion trends for not only this season, but the next one as well, and even the one after that. All of that is extremely exciting, but I think it goes without saying that I work with a lot of fashion forward, really innovative people.
So, what’s the 5% of my job that’s not totally badass? Well, it’s not personal, job. It’s just that as a human being that’s struggled with confidence for as long as I can remember, the atmosphere has done a number on my self-esteem. I’m back to worrying about how I dress, how my hair looks, whether I’m having a good skin day or not. (And yeah, that’s totally comparing myself to other people, which I think I had a foolproof plan to stop doing, several blogs ago. Dammit.) Unfortunately, that’s just the superficial stuff. It’s high school and then some.
So on top of wondering if my outfit sucks, and why I have so much acne, and wishing that the beach waved hair trend would go away, (simply because I cannot fucking figure out how to do it) I wonder constantly if people perceive me as smart. Even as a girl, who’s admittedly worried about all that other stuff, I’d say the thing that hurts my ego the most, is worrying about my intelligence being in question. And to add insult to injury? If I’m being really honest, I would say that I’m not even necessarily concerned about my intelligence in comparison to others, but that maybe I’m not as smart as I want to be. Ouch. Burn. Dang, that hurts.
Glass half full people might tell you to go see a counselor, and fix yourself for good. The realist in me wants to tell you, fully sure of my opinion, that waves of these feelings will come and go in your life forever. (Because let’s face it, we’re only getting wrinklier and worse at math.) And to remind yourself that these feelings are probably bullshit, and if they’re not, just take some time to address them to your standards, and not anyone else’s.
In the meantime, what can I do to help you when you hate yourself because your hair’s too frizzy, your muffin top is growing, and you’ll never own a Louis Vuitton?
- Read books and fall in love with some YouTubers. This sounds so overwhelmingly lame, but I think a lot that’s to blame for self hate is that we have such insta(gram)nt access to perfection all the time, and we forget that it’s edited and perfected beyond reality. Find books about the real lives of people you look up to, and the pages will reveal their normality. You’ll love them, and yourself, even more when you discover their flaws. Find a daily vlogger who inspires you, and over time you’ll discover that they have acne and headaches and stresses and sweet tooths, just like you! I really does the heart a lot of good.
- Throw out everything you’ve ever heard about addressing your weaknesses. (Unless your cholesterol is shitty. Mine is. Then, adopt a workout regimen.) I took a class at work recently that turned my perceptions of self development upside down and actually made sense to me. We hear so much about, “Practice makes perfect.” Well, this instructor told us basically that practice only makes mediocrity if you choose to focus on stuff that you suck at. Practice does make perfect though if you take some of your strengths and develop them until they’re blatantly obvious to everyone that meets you. For instance, I may not be the smartest or best dressed person in the room, but chances are, I’m among the funniest, and I’m okay with that. Constantly develop your strengths, and you will see payoff for that.
- Try viewing yourself as you view the people you look up to. Everyone has their days, or weeks, feeling down about themselves, unless ego maniac was built into your DNA. And if it was, good for you! There is comfort in knowing that the people you idolize feel like they suck sometimes too, but you still idolize them. Just think, someone out there (like maybe your best friend? Parents? Significant other? Stalker?) sees the big picture of you. Not your unkempt eyebrows. Or your chipped manicure. Or that you don’t give a shit about politics. Or that your nail beds suck. They see the entire you, not the you that you nitpick to pieces. They see the whole person that you are, and they love you everyday. Imperfections and all.
- If all else fails, view yourself as you view your pet. And hell, as your pet views you. Pets are so gross and yet we still love the shit out of them, let them lick our faces, and share our beds and homes with them. And despite leaving them for 10 hours a day, and generally being too tired to wrestle around with them, and only feeding them space niblets, we are still the most exciting part of their day. That love is unconditional.
Love yourself unconditionally.
(In fact, that picture was stolen from the Instagram of someone I’ve spent very little time with in real life, but she had a major impact on me. The picture alone would suggest that she thinks she’s less than perfect, and yet I envy her in so many ways. See, people! There’s a lot to love about you!)
Anyway, I promise to be back by next week with something a little lighter. Until then….
xoxo belieberinmyself (t minus 5 days until Bieber)