Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Am Content With Myself

A long time ago I used to have some pretty deep self-esteem issues. I can remember trying to get dressed, becoming frustrated with how clothes looked on me and breaking down and crying. I had these moments regularly.

At 17 I remember curling up on top of the vanity cabinet in our bathroom and crying because I wasn't as pretty or as fashionable as other girls. I fixed my hair, I did my make up but I just didn't feel like it was good enough. As I grew older I would have these same incidents in the closet trying to pick out clothes.

I was being emotionally and verbally abused and that only complicated the situation. Then one day something snapped inside of me and I'm grateful that it did. I decided I didn't need to be able to impress anyone but myself. I realized I wasn't the problem that I had always felt and been told I was. I decided I didn't need to fix my make-up and hair like my friends told me to. I didn't need to dress like my friends told me to.

I decided that I was going to work on my self esteem. I was going to find a way to be happy with myself. I accomplished what I set out to do. It took me about two years to reverse the verbal damage that had been done. I had to find my self worth on the inside. Having health issues that prevented weight loss meant I couldn't get skinny to find happiness, I had to find it at the size I was at and I did just that.

I started buying clothes I liked that fit the way I wanted them to. I quit buying clothes that were only meant to cover me up and hide what they could until I could lose weight. I started buying pretty clothes and covering up the parts of my body I felt every woman should cover. That's right, I've never been the type of girl who's girly parts touch the seat when she sits down because her dress is too short. That's just nasty. But I am the type of girl who loves long flowing dresses, tops with sleeves and clothing that accentuates my best features. Not changes them or makes them look the way the world tells me they should look but actually highlights what I already like about them.

I learned to tell myself something nice each day - about my body, about my personality or about my life. Because I learned being beautiful is not all about what everyone else sees on the outside. I wasn't taught that during my formative years. 

When I went to India it was a challenge not to let the aunty drama get to me. The last couple of months I was there I did notice I was starting to check the mirror more often. This was something I hadn't done in almost 10 years. (Don't take that wrong, I did care how I looked but I didn't dress to satisfy everyone else. I was NOT a frumpy sweat-suit wearing Wal-Mart trash kinda girl. I actually prefer casual business attire.)

At every turn there's someone staring and judging your weight, your clothes, your symmetry etc. I did have to revisit my own ideals of what I should be. I even had to combat some of my husbands ideas of how to please the neighbors. Poor hubby lol. He didn't know what to say when I told him I didn't care what the aunties thought, I was still gonna wear my ripped up Apple Bottom jeans with the gold accents because that was how those jeans were meant to look and they matched the shirt I wanted to wear. I was happy, I didn't care if the aunties down the street were happy.

Now that I'm back home, my step-father is just as bad as the Indian aunties. He regularly comments on the weight of all the household members. Me and my younger foster sister give him crap right back about how we don't care what he thinks lol. Just the other day I told him I didn't care if I was fat, as long as I had the muscles to shop all day and not drop I didn't care. I meant that and it felt good to say it.

See, to my step father, fat is anyone over a size 4. He's stuck back in the 50's where men were in control of everything and it was cool to cruise down the strip oogling chicks. Um...hello?? It's 2012. Get over it. Women's lib did not occur so that era's like the 50's could survive thank you.

So while I would never burn my bra (they're expensive you know), I won't be told what I have to look like by anyone. I am happy being me. I like my body (with the exception of the lost muscle tone that I'm working to get back), I like my dressing style, I like my attitude ...which I think I see another blog post coming on that one because I've changed.

I'm happy being me. Are you happy being you? I hope you are. If someone doesn't like you the way you are then that is their problem, not yours. Don't change for anyone, you're better than that.

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story!.I feel related to things you said about this topic.I hope some girl will read this and help her feel better about herself.It's tough not 'being perfect' as per society's standards.

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  2. what a well timed post! I have been pretty down lately due to some weight gain and the fact that my clothes aren't fitting...my fiance keeps insisting that he loves me for who I am and that he loves my new(er) curves but the auntie drama here can really get to you! I need to keep trying to be positive and this post really helps!

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  3. I know its so hard to find your own style. But it pays off,if you wear stuff that really suits you and you really like you can wear it longer than when your just getting stuff thats fashionable and doesnt look that great on you. I still have clothes that are like ancient and people want to know where I got them from because it looks nice.Haha i guess I am fat then because I am not size 4 and under either. Oh well..whatever. I think being me is hard work and constant work in progress

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  4. that is a terrific post, many people go on for many many years before hey stop listening to others (current or previous comments) and learn to be good to themselves. : ) kudos to you and much love and happiness.

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  5. Thanks Cristina! I hope other girls obtain inspiration from this as well. It's very difficult to get to this point but it can be done.

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  6. Hang in there Kathleen! Don't let the aunties win this one. If it's one thing I learned, you can never please everyone else. You have to be happy with yourself and just let everyone else fuss if they want to - while you ignore them. In reality, they have no control over your life so don't let them spoil your happiness. You've been having such a great time (as I've seen from your FaceBook postings) and I hope you continue to enjoy life the way you have been. Things are coming together nicely for you, a little weight (unfortunately) is to be expected with all the changes. I'm sure you'll lose it all quick once you settle down more.

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  7. Thanks Kathi! It is really hard to overcome past comments. I find the past comments were much harder to deal with than the current ones. I can roll my eyes and dismiss people who comment now, but the things I remember from my younger years haunt me and stick in my mind. It did take years to get to this point but I am very happy to be here.

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  8. On most days I am happy to be me, and that is also something I had to figure out on my own, I always had a curvy body once I hit puperty, I think the "skinniest" I have been once puberty was over was a size 8, maybe 6 for some stuff, I haven't been a size 4 ever...well probably in my per-teen years but that doesn't count.
    I'm now a size 10-12, and I am so sick of the world just telling me I am unhealthy, fat or whatnot. I lost muscle tone in India, but I am working back to get that, I can be on my feet the whole day, I can climb all the way to my 12th floor appartment taking the stairs without feeling out of breath at all, so don't go telling me I am unhealthy people! PCOS is one of these nasty disorder that make loosing weight harder, I made my peace with it :-)
    I pretty much have learned to ignore the aunties a few years ago. Those who gossip and complain abotu how you look are the most frustrated of the lot, I vowed myself not to become an old bitter lady, and that starts by not caring too much about what other people think about you :-)

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