Well, this whole fiasco started when the jeans I wore at work last year decided to not fit the other day.
Even though this post will give you a glimpse of my thought processes and of my insecurities, we are just friends talking to each other. Please don’t take this as a need for compliments, or let this come across as an attempt for me to feel better about myself. I am just a girl, reaching out to all the other girls out there. The ones who wonder, “How DO models get that thigh gap so small?”
I’ve been feeling pretty vulnerable and self conscious lately, about a lot of things actually. As most of you can tell, I have some very unique features that have set me apart in my life. I’m not saying that in a way that’s good, mind you. I’m just stating the obvious. Pale skin, freckles, black hair (which is turning grey), and gold eyes. Not a common combination and sometimes hard to grasp. Though I try and do a good job of accepting these differences, I’m really not as confident as I seem to be.
Yes, the tagline of “every story has a Silver Lining” was a really amazing trademark for me and my brand, and even though I do believe how important it is to embrace “flaws”, sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds. I often wonder what it would be like to be that fun volleyball player on the beach, bouncing around in her tan skin and and all one color hair, but that’s just not me… It will never be me, and that’s mostly because I can’t hit a ball to save my life. I’ve always had issues with comparison and constantly looking in the mirror to see the bad instead of the good. I often carry the weight of others opinions on me, and if I hear a negative thought on my appearance, I nearly self destruct. Though over the years I have become more confident in who I am as Olivia (thank goodness I stopped covering up all my freckles with makeup), I still have always had that constant need to look perfect, be perfect, and become this object of perfection. Though these ideas and thoughts are no where near attainable, this concept that I wasn’t the prettiest girl out there, destroyed me. All I knew was that I had a few key features that I actually did like and wasn’t self conscious of.
Once I started working at the coffee shop I do now, and really having no consistent schedule whatsoever, things started to change.
I have never had to worry about my weight, like ever. I’ve always been super lean (lanky), and didn’t really gain weight. I didn’t get to my full height until I was 17! Grew 4 inches overnight (I really think I did), and stayed the same weight for years. Of course I noticed a shift a little bit in college, but nothing that sparked my attention. I knew I was lucky to have this metabolism, but also really took it for granted. Because I don’t sleep at regular times, eat regular meals, and at all have a day without stress, I finally started to noticed extra weight in places I NEVER saw before. Like what? Why? Why now? Why not when I’m 40, you know?
Once I realized that those jeans that used to fit, didn’t fit anymore… Well, let’s just say, the way I saw myself in the mirror changed drastically. I no longer saw myself as this skinny girl, the one who could eat whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. I saw a girl who needed to lose 4 pounds (is butter a carb?). Maybe start to take those mysterious herbs that help you lose fat, or try to use those weight loss teas or something. Though I could make this whole blog post about eating healthy and working out, because that so clearly is the obvious answer here, that’s not where I’m going with this ladies.
I found myself not wanting to wear short sleeve shirts in public or at work, because I just know that people can tell how fat my arms are. Because how could they not? If I was noticing, so were they. Right?
I am dreading the long summer months of shorts and all things revealing, because I want to do everything BUT reveal more of my body. My pale skin, flabby legs, and the arms I want to keep hidden? Why would I want to flaunt these things?
Yes, I understand that all of these ideas and thoughts are purely inflated lies of what the media tells me, but it really doesn’t feel like that most of the time. I fully understand that we are all different shapes and sizes, and we are all beautiful, but why does it seem like those truths are hidden by Photoshop and unrealistic expectations of a women’s body? The idea of wearing a bathing suit and putting it on social media, makes me want to crawl under a rock and never come out. But why do I feel like this? I can sit here and look at these photos and state that I am not an unhealthy weight, or really need to lose weight, but I do sit here and look at the way my arms look… “Ya those could be toned.” I look at my legs and think, “Those definitely need to be more tan.” On, and on and on. A constant criticism of who I am and where I’m at right now.
Which got me thinking.
I will never be satisfied with how I look.
Not every single person I meet will think I am attractive.
And that’s okay.
Side note: Why do my knees look like that? They look like faces.
Why do I think that I will possibly gain happiness in this life, from people thinking I’m “pretty“. What… Will I gain fame, popularity, happiness? Will I find my worth in the opinions of others and all of a sudden be happy about how I look 100% of the time?
Because if I don’t know who I am on the inside, and am confident in my ability to help others and love others, what is the point in any of this?
Which brings me to the conclusion of these thoughts.
I’m ready to trim the fat. No, not the fat on my stomach, or arms and legs. The excess stuff that everyone hates, those thoughts and ideas that swim around in my head all the time. I’m ready to get down to the heart of the matter and not be surrounded by all of that stuff that no one likes. I want to trim out the negativity and self consciousness, and really start to examine who I am as Olivia, not who I am as my wardrobe.
Even though I will always struggle with comparison and the need to be a certain weight, or have the perfect hair and makeup, I need to start understanding the severity of self doubt. If I don’t believe in myself (not in a 90’s song kind of way), then how will I succeed in anything? I won’t have the confidence to truly pursue my dream, and won’t have the ability to persevere through those times of self doubt. I know that I am not worthless, and I also know that you are not worthless. The fact that we base worth off of appearance and social status is so far from the truth.
So, start to trim the fat in your life, trim off those excess ideas and notions that you aren’t enough, and truly begin to realize the significance of your existence and what you can do in your life.
If you truly want to change certain things about your outside appearance, work hard for it, just like you are working hard for your dreams. If you want rock hard abs and the perfect legs, work for that. Don’t become comfortable and compliant with the circumstances that you don’t like, because you have the power to change them.
But at the same time, never let those insecurities define you, because you aren’t your flaws, you are so much more.
Truly find the Silver Lining in every situation and know that mirrors tell lies, and are not a reflection of what is inside of you.
Never forget. Every story has a Silver Lining.