Learning To Love Yourself

Growing up I was never the prettiest thing. Rather than growing into my beauty and myself it seemed I was becoming uglier and more awkward by the minute. Instead of slimming out with age I was filling out, or puffing out, as my sister would tell me. I was the archetypal “non-pretty girl”—chunky with braces and glasses.

I remember coming home crying after school constantly because people, people who were supposedly my friends, would poke fun at me for my weight and my culture and how dark I was. When I was ten, a rumor started going around school that I was pregnant. I had always known I had some meat on me but I always managed to stay confident somehow, it wasn’t until that moment that I started to see myself through other people’s eyes, and I couldn’t stand what I saw. It was so easy to let myself believe I could never be completely accepted by society, that I would never be considered pretty by myself or by anyone else.

Even after time went on and I lost the weight and the glasses and the braces, it was hard for me to fully accept how I looked. But eventually, after time, I stopped judging myself based on how the world around me may possibly have viewed me. Instead I learned to like myself and appreciate who I was, because who I was and who I am is a pretty awesome person. Although I still have my bad days when I think there is so much I could improve about myself, overall, I love who I am and who I am becoming—an intelligent, determined, goofy and quirky (in a good way) person.

Now, at the age nineteen, I can happily say I am confident in myself. But it seems that in order for a lot of girls my age to feel that way they need to have their qualities validated by guy, because for some reason if a guy likes you that means you’re alright. And honestly, for a long time I thought the same thing, but now as I think about guys and possibly marriage in the future I’m not sure I need one. Yes, I would love to one day fall in love with the perfect guy for me and get married and have children and live happily ever after, but if my future doesn’t hold all that, I think I’ll be okay.

Although I may not have the typical and expected life of a woman, I am comfortable enough with who I am to be left with just me. And even though some may see that as sad, never having a family of your own and being “unfulfilled as a woman,” I have realized that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I’ve come to like being alone, not all the time, but most of the time. And as long as I know who I am and like who that person is and can be content with that, I’ll be fine.

Picture courtesy of http://www.tinybuddha.com

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