Let me get you in on a little secret.
I’ve always been very insecure about how I look.
Okay, so maybe not always. Ever since 8th grade I would say. I was always super skinny and then suddenly I wasn’t, and people made comments even though it was normal and healthy. I had a hard time with it for a while. As a perfectionist, it’s hard to accept when you’re not what you consider to be “perfect.” Once I got sick, it was even harder to accept myself and my new limitations. I couldn’t exercise as much as I was used to, so along with comparing myself to every other girl around me, I would also compare who I was to who I used to be. Plus, the medication I was on for a while made my face really chubby and gave me bad acne. I knew people wouldn’t understand it wasn’t my fault and it made me really self conscious.
On top of that, I used to be very shy. If you think I’m shy now, you don’t know anything. I mean, I literally wouldn’t talk. There were times I just didn’t have anything to say, but when I was quiet I would be constantly beating myself up for not speaking. Plus I got nonstop crap from other people about how quiet I was. As if the worst thing int he world would be to not speak. I always felt that if I talked, I would sound stupid or say the wrong thing.
Once upon a time I was an insecure mess. I cared way too much about what people thought of me and I held myself up to impossible standards. I compared myself to everyone around me. A lot of my insecurities came from a boy who broke my heart and left me to wonder why I wasn’t good enough. Some came from my dad who spent years verbally abusing me. And really, a lot came from my perfectionist personality. But overall, it came from the fact that God had a purpose that was fulfilled even through the crappiest situations of my life. I am able to help and relate to people so much more now that I’ve experienced that.
I don’t know how it happened but I changed. Obviously it was by God’s grace because what happened for me was a miracle. I woke up and decided I didn’t like the way I was living. I decided that I wanted to fall in love with life. And I did.
I remembered how much I love fitness and healthy eating and how beautiful it is to be confident. I realized that I always wanted to be that fun girl who wore whatever she wanted and danced and laughed like a crazy women; and I would always says “Next year, I’ll be her.” And finally I said “This year.”
It took God breaking me for me to come to the point where I could be okay with who I was. And sometimes, I don’t feel like I’ve changed at all. Sometimes I still feel anxious at parties, sometimes I still feel uncomfortable in shirts or dresses, sometimes I wish I could be someone else. That’s okay. When that does happen, I just tell myself I’m okay and I will be okay. I know that the feeling will pass and I can get through it.
Now I find myself belting out songs at random, even though I used to never sing in front of people. If Mr. Brightsides comes on the radio you can bet I’ll go in full 80’s Music Video Mode. I don’t care that I sometimes I scream during worship at church because I realized that that’s how I worship and singing to my God is more important than how others see me. Now I’m not afraid to walk around in my Chewbacca onesie because I stopped caring about who thought I was weird. Maybe its not that noticeable to the people around me, and that’s okay. I still get crap for being introverted and quiet, but that’s only from ignorant people who don’t know the fight I’ve endured to become who I am today.
You can do it too. I wish I could give you that exact recipe to finding yourself, but there isn’t one. It looks different for everyone. But it’s worth it. I know sometimes it feels like you’ll be broken forever, but that’s only true if you make it. You don’t have to be miserable. I know you’re going to feel stuck and I know it seems so cliche and stupid; I never thought I would be writing a blog post as cheesy sounding as this one, trust me. But really, it’s true. You are so beautiful, and some day you’re going to believe me when I say that.
So, I guess that’s the short version. I have wanted to share that for a while but really, I’ve had no inspiration and honestly those thoughts didn’t come out the way I wanted them to but there they are. Maybe in the future I’ll discuss more in detail, because a million other topics stem from that one but really, this is the basics.
You are beautiful.
Not because of your size or how many likes your get on a selfie or the amount of times a day you get called beautiful. Being yourself and laughing and being confident, that’s beautiful. You’re beautiful because of your identity in Christ. Stop your intrusive thoughts when they come and counter them with truth. I have found that repeating “It’s okay” to myself helps, although I can’t tell you exactly why. Accept yourself. Flaws and all.
I love you, gorgeous. Stay strong.
Also, I figured it was time you guys saw my face. So when I redesigned my blog, I added that picture. And now….well, here. Enjoy some shameless photos of me. I love you all. Seriously, you guys are stunning.