Staring in the mirror and pointing out my flaws, the things I hated about myself and things that I wanted to change or slightly alter was a daily ritual at some point. I regretted cutting my long hair off, I didn’t like my acne prone skin or the way that my eyes have always had lines under them, I didn’t love the fact that my eyes are green but not quite dashing enough and that my nose is a little bit too flat on the end. Then one day I woke up and I felt completely differently.
Over the years things about myself have changed or come to my attention, I’m still a little bit self conscious about certain things about myself because who isn’t? But somewhere along the lines I began to like what I saw in the mirror, I began to feel comfortable in the skin that I’m in and got over myself a little bit.
At some point my outer appearance was always top priority, I wanted to fit certain trends and aesthetics or have a label attached to me, I didn’t like that I didn’t have a look that someone saw and immediately associated with me, I wanted to be chic like the Parisian babes on Instagram, or trendy like the girls who rock streetwear inspired from Korea. It was something that always bothered me: I need a look.
To be honest, I’d put this thought process down to me maybe being young and somewhat naive. It never really struck me that the people who were inspiring me and who I wanted to be like were just being themselves – they probably didn’t intentionally go about their day trying to look a certain way or emulate a certain sub-culture that Vice picked up in an article this one time. They were just being themselves.
But looking in from the outside, it all seemed so unachievable to me, that being so effortlessly cool and stylish wasn’t actually completely forced behind the scenes, that there’s no way that these girls don’t spend hours on the internet looking for their next style icon. But then I started doing it – or rather, not doing it. I stopped trying to look a certain way, tried to stop putting a label on my style and just dressed how I felt like and bought clothes because I liked them and not because they looked like they fit a certain aesthetic that I was going for.
I’m also pretty sporadic with my style. I flip flop a lot and change up what I like to wear all of the time. My boyfriend has pointed it out to me before, how much I change and flip-flop my style – and that in itself, is me. It’s who I am and the way that I like to be, the way that I like to express myself. I just never quite understood that, and was trying so hard to fit into a certain stereotype.
When I look at myself in the mirror now, all of the flaws I once pointed out and wanted to change don’t make much sense, because they’re me. The clothes that I wear, I don’t see any problems with them because I’m comfortable and I like them. The tattoos on my skin – I got them because I like them, not because they look a certain way. This realisation has completely opened my eyes and given me a new sense of freedom in the world. There’s a certain level of self consciousness that I’ve eliminated and it’s made me feel whole – like I’m actually a person.
Don’t get me wrong though, just because I feel like I’m finally satisfied with the person that I am and how my outer shell looks, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the way that I look and come across, I still look for outfit inspiration on Pinterest and contemplate putting a bit of blonde back in my hair on a near daily basis, but these aren’t things that I do with the intention of making myself better or making people like me more, it’s because I just like fashion and having outfits in my wardrobe instead of clothes, and also because I’ve always been partial to switching my hair up.
I always thank blogging for helping me grow up and come to like myself though. I put a lot of pressure on the fact that my blog unlocked some part of me that meant that I’d come to like myself, and while this is true, taking photos of myself every time I don’t have only an hour of sun left in the day does force me to look at my face more than I used to, and writing out my inner thoughts onto the internet definitely makes helps me get things off my chest and help me feel lighter mentally, I also want to put this down to having a strong support system in my life. The people I allow to come into my world, the people who I let their opinions sit on my mind, they’re supportive, yet call me out when it’s necessary, they’re kind but also pretty ruthless. It’s what I need.
I think that growing up and entering adulthood has also lifted some tunnel vision, I always saw myself as being quite the cool kid and nobody compared, until those pesky teen years when everyone was better than me and had better, and then adulthood where I’ve come to the realisation that I am a cool kid, and people out there are better than me and do better than me, but that’s okay, because we’re all in different stages in life, I have tons of learning and self improvement left to get through before I reach the stage where I’m completely satisfied with myself. But right now, I’m so comfortable with myself.
This is a topic that gives me a bit of worry though, because whenever I write a post like this down it normally gets deleted, I don’t want to come across as if I’m bragging and I don’t want someone to read this and feel badly that they don’t feel the same about themselves – but then, I also want this to serve that someone as a reminder that better times will come if you allow them, and that a day where you are comfortable with yourself will come.
But as I said at the beginning, there are obviously things about myself that I don’t love, there’s things I’d still like to change, because I’m not 100% satisfied with myself, but in my entire life, this is the most comfortable I’ve ever been. The most true to myself I’ve ever been, and I hope to only grow further and learn more.