Confessions of a Dreamer
My entire life I’ve felt like an ugly duckling. This plain Jane that no one really noticed. All my friends were these beautiful Latina women with the dark skin and curves and dark curly hairy and then there was me; too skinny, to white, weird eyes that changed colors all the time and lets not forget my overbite and large welfare glasses. Everywhere I went my shoulders were hunched and my eyes down to the ground. I felt invisible, so why should I not walk like I was? The only positive I felt about myself was that I knew I was smart. I was the girl that people cheated off of in class. I was the one in honors classes, who wrote for the paper. Besides that though there really was no true identity. My sister described it best once when she said I was kinda like a chameleon, I melded and shifted my personality to fit whatever group I was in.
It always went through my mind that how could anyone ever find me pretty when all I saw was ugly? The funny and ironic thing about this was that I was hooking up with boys left and right. I don’t have a lot of memory about these things but from what I understand it was not just a few. There were some really tragic things that happened in the span of a few years. Looking back on it now I realized that I was not just damaged I was broken and fractured in a million pieces. These boys made me think for even the tiniest of moments that I was alive, that I mattered. They made me think that all the horrible things I thought about myself were not true, if only for a little while. Of course reality would come back and bite me in the ass and I’d go right back to feeling low and unworthy. It was easier to give myself away, to feel something, than to never feel anything at all.
As I got older I continued the same patterns. The difference was I got better at hiding at how much I despised what I saw. I learned to walk with my shoulders straighter, to hold my head higher but on the inside, I was still that insecure teenage girl who was terrified that the world would see what she saw in the mirror every day. It really wasn’t until earlier this year that a lightbulb started to go off in my head. Maybe it wasn’t the world that was wrong all this time, maybe, just maybe it was me. It was my thinking that was flawed.
This whole self acceptance thing is not easy. It’s a long, weird and strange road that I’m on. Changing decades of negative thinking is hard. I have to remind myself to silence that voice in my head that wants to tell me I’m not good enough, pretty enough, worthy enough to have the life I have now. Sometimes is shouts, sometimes it whispers, but the damn thing rarely shuts up.
You see I guess that’s the funny thing about finding yourself, you have to realize that the person who beats you up the worst sometimes, who makes you feel the lowest, is none other than you, and those nasty little voices you’ve invited to live in your own mind.
I’ll never have the dark hair and curves and cocco skin of my youth that I saw as the definition of beautiful and you know what? I think finally after all these years I’m ok with that. My pale skin, and overbite, and weird color changing eyes are all part of what make up me. Just me. It’s those very things that I loathed about myself as a teen that I am learning to love about myself as a woman. For every negative thought I have now I try to repeat 3 positives. To remind myself that was is sexiest of all in a person is confidence. I’m not there quite yet, but I’m getting there, and that is something to smile about!