I’ve written entries before puttering in the realm of feeling low, picking yourself up, practicing self-care, staying strong, etc., but I don’t know if I’ve ever addressed this issue head on. Because it’s hard. Like really damn hard.
‘… And there will undoubtedly be more fascinating times to come’ – I guess I thought, as I flung myself into my gigantic dream of moving to Toronto last year. And I was right, obviously – and it’s ongoing. Many new tastes and sights and sounds and customs to explore and devour on a daily basis.
I also believed this would all prove to be a distraction from my crippling self-doubt and distorted self-image. Noooope.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a tendency to hate on myself (as many do). I’m not smart enough. I’m not creative enough or brave enough. I’m not doing enough. I’m not thin enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not enough. Every day is a battle between my outwardly optimistic self and my internal negative thoughts to see which will prevail. The brain has a cruel way of telling you damaging things even when everyone else is telling you the opposite.
Let me be straight up with you. This city does not make it easier to ignore the negative sentiments. Everyone walks really fast with a purpose and dresses really sharp, there are workout facilities on every corner, organic juice cafes on every other corner and for every one of those, there are at least twenty five people running outside alongside their dogs. I think it might have the most confident person shaking in their boots a bit.
… Hey – I love juice. And I love running. Why don’t I feel up to par, brain? What’s the big idea?!
It’s draining, to say the least. I admit, I feel pretty proud of myself when I run a 10K on a weekend and manage to get through an entire day without having a glass of wine or eating a whole jar of peanut butter.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to rid myself entirely of the mindset where I just don’t feel happy with myself. But good self-esteem is a process (which takes work) and it comes in waves, and some days are better than other days.
This is the mindset that prevails sometimes, but one day I hope it sticks all the time: Life is short. And worrying tarnishes my emotional self, forcing me to concentrate on the surface rather than on what’s fundamentally meaningful. Will agonizing about my appearance or my unreached goals really benefit me? No. I should invest that value in my relationships (because I have someone who loves ME for ME), my love of music and concerts and shows, my friends and family, my creative projects and learning about my new city.
So, to all my fellow worriers – take a deep breath. Fake it until you make it until you don’t have to fake it anymore. Remember: the person you’re with loves you and chooses to be with you BECAUSE they love you. You are fantastic! Your friends stick around because you are magnetic and they adore you for you – they aren’t thinking you are LACKING something. In the end, YOU are your own biggest critic.
Even when you think you can’t find one thing you like about yourself, FIND ONE THING. ONE THING. Anything.
I can cook a mean dinner.
I can write a great blog post.
And I’m having a fantastic hair day.
.. And it’s endearing that I can’t resist a glass of wine and have an undying infatuation with peanut butter. It makes me .. me. Right?
And you are you, and even when you can’t see it, I’m telling you now: Someone loves you for all your traits and you are freaking awesome. Every day it’s hard and every day those evil thoughts might pester you, but if only for today, tune out the noise. Hell, try tomorrow too.