So what happened between then and now. I have the same eyes and the same thick hair, and I am doing everything that I want in life. and yet I struggle.
I struggle with the fact that despite being told throughout my childhood the things I mentioned above, and many more, the only one that I held on to and has shaped me is the one about my ability to do anything I want with my life. I am doing exactly as I wish with my life. Everything I have done in my life has come from me, and yet when I look in the mirror it isn’t my accomplishments I see, it’s the things I think I have failed at.
How come I managed to turn all that positive reinforcement and support about my abilities and capabilities to achieve anything into a real life existence, yet as I sit and write this I am plagued with feelings of inadequacies about my looks that I have led me down a path to being overweight and horribly unfit.
I think that a lot of it stems from the fact that as girls we are taught by the people outside our home life that it’s the things we achieve in school that define us as we age. We are taught in school so that we can continue upwardly through life, to achieve success. In all that though I think certain messages are lost. I don’t think that girls are recognised for their naturally abilities, only those that are taught by others.
Yet as soon as we are grown those wonderful lessons we were taught, the incredible volumes of knowledge we have had imparted onto us over the years fall by the wayside and we are left with an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction that no amount of pay rises, promotions and big offices can over quell.
I judge myself based on the viewpoint of others. I only believe I am a good friend, if those around me tell me so. I only believe I am attractive if the people I find attractive find me so. I am only ‘right’ when someone tells me I am.
I don’t know if any of you reading feel this way, if you don’t then apologies, but I have decided in the last 40 minutes, although its been coming for some time, that as long as I am happy with the person I am, what I see in the mirror and my actions towards others then the opinions of others become null and void.
At the beginning of 2013 as the clock stuck midnight I made a promise to myself;
No more trying to be someone else, no more trying to be the best at things that don’t matter and instead focus on the things that do, no more spending time angry that certain people in my life don’t behave the way I think they should, no more despising the reflection I see in the mirror. No More.
Instead here are my 2013 vows (not resolutions)
- I will not stop watching airbrushed american television shows that make me feel bad about how I look. Instead I vow to read more of the authors who inspire me, follow the lives of women who work for the bodies they deserve and find time to work on myself.
- I will not dye my hair over and over again longing for it to be something it never will be. Instead I vow to be kind to it and treat it well and most of all not try to have the looks of someone else, but create looks of my own.
- I will not pay to have plastic stuck to me nails because I think that the best way to have long nails. Instead I vow to grow my nails with patience and treat them well.
- I will not use fake tan or sun beds. Instead I will embrace my beautiful pale skin which I have recently realised actually suits my green eyes and dark hair.
- I will not read more into the tweets, Facebook statuses or other social networking site posts of my friends. Instead I vow to spend time with them; honest time so that when they post arsey snarky posts (which they still will) I will know that its nothing to do with me.
- I will not eat junk food. Instead I will allow myself a treat whenever I wish as long as it’s a small amount and I can justify eating it.
- I will not continue to allow my body to deteriorate. Instead I will exercise for 30 minutes every single day. Be it a brisk dog walk, a dance class, a swim or whatever else I wish.
- I will not see the success of others as a failure in me. Instead I will celebrate success with them and strive harder to focus on my aims and goals and not take my eye off them.
Finally I will not deny myself any experience, opportunity or emotion. Instead I will go through life open-minded, honestly and with every intention of becoming the greatest version of myself possible.
Would love to know what you feel about this?