I doubt I’m the first to say I’ve struggled with self-image. It’s a common thing, girls, guys, anyone with a heartbeat, we’ve all hated something about ourselves one time or another, wished we could change something about ourselves, etc. It’s sad, but in this society, we’re held to some pretty unrealistic standards.
The first time I felt horrible about myself I was 8 years old. How upsetting is that? I felt like I wasn’t smart enough or pretty enough. I thought I was boring, weird, just worthless overall. A lot of things definitely contributed to this feeling, constantly comparing myself to my sisters, an unstable home environment, genetics, take your pick. At the end of the day, I just didn’t love myself.
Something I did love was school. Being a naturally curious person, the whole aspect of learning something new was thrilling to me. I excelled in my classes, especially in English. As I began struggling with anxiety and depression, immersing myself in books helped me cope. Books truly became an escape and the school’s library became a place of comfort. I still smile thinking about my librarian, she’d save a copy of each new book that came in. She was tickled by the amount of reading I did, she’d even let me keep the battered and bruised books before the school discarded them.
The more I started the read, the more I got intrigued with the art of writing. As I read my imagination would run wild. I found myself thinking about how I’d change this chapter over here, or how’d I’d spice up the dialogue over there. I began searching for books that had different elements that I craved within a story and then it clicked; If I wanted something to be written a certain way, I’d just have to write it myself, and that’s how I started writing.
It was an amazing feeling when I’d look at my once blank page, now stained with thoughts I willed into existence. For once I felt proud of myself, I feel like I had a purpose. I wanted my words to touch others. I knew that writing was my calling.
As time passed writing continued to get me through my toughest days. No matter how insecure I felt, writing was always a source of pride for me. As I began to improve my writing abilities, I started to feel better about myself overall. Not only was writing a source of expression, it was also a way for me to focus my negative emotions towards something worthwhile. Not to mention, just knowing I gave my all into each piece made me feel accomplished. I felt smart, I felt happy. That’s the beauty of writing, you’re creating something tangible just from an idea in your head and you’re watching it come to life. It’s a beautiful process.
This leads me to my main point; as I got older I realized that beauty has nothing to do with looks, it stems from what radiates within one’s soul. Passion, that’s one of the most beautiful qualities a person can possess. Seeing someone’s eyes sparkle brighter than the stars, watching their smile widen with joy, It’s such a heartwarming thing. Whether your passion is writing, another art form, whether it be a love for birdwatching, gardening, whatever it is, explore it and keep at it. If it’s something that you’re proud of, if it’s something that ignites joy within you, guess what? It’s worth giving time and energy to, even if it’s just for your own sanity.