if you take a gander to your right you will see a round black beautiful button. this button was created by amy from a is for ampersand. february is the month of love. typically to express love to others but amy has turned the tables inwards making it a month of self love. this act of wonderfulness really really touched me. we all struggle with some kind of self hatred whether we are men or women. self hatred is not sexist by any means.
amy touched on how the blogging world can portray a world of perfection, something that all of us have strived to attain at some point in our lives. at some point most of us have realized that what we think is "perfect" is unattainable to achieve or at least i have come to that conclusion. what i have learned is this: i am not perfect, nobody is, and that is the way we are meant to be. our imperfections are what actually makes us perfect.
i wanted to share my struggles to show that i too, am human and just like everyone else i have a story. here is mine. (please bare with me, it isn't something that can easily be expressed)
since i can remember i have always been extremely hard on myself. i don't know why, i mean i could take a stab, point fingers but when i sit down and really think about it, it has always been me that has allowed myself to go to those dark places and wallow there.
i have never felt truly beautiful. i mean this in a superficial way. i have never had a problem with who i was internally, i had a problem with the shell that my soul resided in. i always felt the awkward ugly duckling, with the big ugly nose and horrible posture and just all round just strange looking. i didn't get teased much, a couple of jerks were mean, called me toucan sam but all kids are mean. i tried not to take it personally but at a young age it is hard not to take what others say about you personally. i always felt odd in my own skin and i had a bad case of image distortion. what i wanted to look like or what i thought i looked like was not what i actually saw in pictures or the mirror. who was this person and why didn't the images match up?
i didn't know who the person was when i looked in the mirror, why she didn't look like the perfect girls i saw on tv or magazines. i thought if i could change the way i looked then i would be happy. i dreamed of plastic surgery, getting my nose fixed, thinking it would solve the problem. years of staring in the mirror and smashing my nose to what i thought it should be. i felt ashamed of what i looked like. i hate and still feel uncomfortable when people stare at me. i always thought people were looking at the ugly parts of me when it in fact who knows WHAT they were even staring at. it is crazy what we allow ourselves to think.
all of these thoughts consumed me, twisting into monsters making me think i was never good enough. the thoughts would get darker as i got older, thoughts that i am am even ashamed to think of now. looking back at it all, it seems almost silly, that i let something like beauty hold me back from leading a happy life. really, what is beauty? it is all in the eye of the beholder and that saying has stuck with me.
until recently, i have moved from that dark place and into the sunshine where it is bright and warm. i still find myself sitting in the shadows at times but i am much better now at pulling myself up. what was it that brought me into the light? a mix of things....
i found someone who loved me for me, not just my shell but for my mind. he is an artist and what i find interesting about artists is that they capture and hone in on things that others may not. i was tom's subject for a lot of his art. he would extract the features that i found hideous and turned them into beautiful works of art. seeing that he loved my imperfections made me think more about what beauty was. being able to step back from myself and see what somonee else saw was one of the most eye opening moments that one can hope for. it was truly life changing. from then on whenever i complained about my body, he would tell me to do something about it. that is when i started biking, instead of being down about something i did something about it. i got my first big tattoo and then my world forever changed. something about expressing myself and putting a stamp on this shell made me realize what beauty was for me.
what inside me is what truly is beautiful not what the outside looked like. covering the outside with my designs is what got me over the hurdle, let the inside out instead of the letting the outside hold the inside back. now when i look in the mirror i do see someone that is truly beautiful throughout. i have let the insecurities melt away and now lead a happy life full of amazing adventures.
we all struggle with something and it is what we do with this struggle that makes us who we are today. i can not say i am happy that i had let myself hate myself for so long, but now i appreciate so much because of it. life is about growing and i am happy that i still am :)
thanks for reading, i know it was a lot but honestly it felt really really really good to put it out there. i encourage everyone to write their story out even if it never gets published, it is so therapeutic and you will thank yourself later.