Insert witty quote or byline here…because I don’t have one today.
Self-confidence is a hard subject for me to write about, mainly because I don’t have it. People that meet me think I do but far from it. I hate most of the things about my appearance. My blindness, my hair, my lack of a butt, my tummy. I’m stretch-marked, overweight, hairy, and broken out. I see the Instagram posts about loving yourself and these women so accepting of their bodies and I think, “How do I get there?”. It feels like a puzzle I’ll never figure out. Like an escape room, I can’t escape from.
There are some days I think for a brief moment that I am pretty. But by midday, checking my makeup in the bathroom mirror at work, I suddenly lose that feeling when I see my skin and my hair, and my self. I want to tell you all to love yourself exactly the way you are but how can I when I don’t love myself first?
I only remember twice in my life I’ve ever felt pretty. Once was in high school, after a bath. Steam filling the bathroom, faded light through the window, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Skin glowing pink from the hot water, green eyes blazing, hair wet and shiny. The second was my wedding day. Somewhere along the way of life I’ve lost that feeling. Now I only see tired and so incredibly flawed.
How can I preach this message of self-love and acceptance then? I can’t. What I can say is that whether you ever see it or not your entire life, someone has seen you, on the street, a stranger passing by. At the coffee shop, you visit every day. At the store when you buy groceries. And they have thought you were beautiful. You’re not invisible and people do see you. Your children think you’re beautiful. Your spouse. Your parents. Someone has looked at you and seen you glow.
Maybe it will take a long time for you to see it. Maybe you never will. But it’s there inside you, waiting to come out, wanting you to acknowledge that you’re beautiful. Not in the conventional way. Not in the way that movie stars are or those pictures in magazines. You’re beautiful in your soul. And no one can take that away from you. Or from me.