What makes me interesting?
“This has to be the most difficult question anyone has ever asked me. Why? Maybe because I don’t like talking about myself. Or maybe I find it hard for me to really believe that I am interesting or even special. What’s Interesting huh? Why do people even care? Well I am going to finally write a list of 20 things that could possibly make me interesting?” ...
Wow. June 1, 2017. I wrote that in my journal. I hated this question because I couldn’t come up with things I like about myself on the spot. I would always down play myself with that question. Like “oh hmm interesting well my favorite color is blue or oh yeah I’m left handed!” I noticed how people were starting to lose interest in me and all my insecurities showed face to face. Deep down I knew this wasn’t okay and I didn’t understand why I struggled with simply liking myself and giving myself credit. So, that day of June I decided to make a list of 20 things that made me interesting.
As I’m writing my list I keep telling myself this is stupid I am never going to make it to 20, but I keep writing anyways. Then next thing you know I have 10 things and again I’m saying to myself ugh this is dumb. Then I get to 13,14,15 and I’m like okay five more. Then next thing you know I have 23 things on my list. 23. I stopped writing and paused for second, looked at that number and yeah I cried. True freaking story. I could barely think of one, but can write 23 how can that be. I still didn’t want to give myself credit. I cried for a while that night sitting in my bed. I cried because I felt like I failed myself, I cried because I didn’t know who I was becoming, I cried because it took me to write this instead of knowing it in my heart. I felt pathetic. I went away to college attended a Historical Black College University thinking I had it all together surrounded by so many beautiful black queens, inspiring stories, essence, womanhood, creativity, black girl magic, and talent. You would think this is all I need to love myself. But no, I began to dim my light. It’s 2017 I am a junior in college and my light is still dim this is a crisis I thought. Here I am questioning “What is my black girl magic?” and being afraid of the word interesting. Looking around me on campus almost everyone seems to exuberate self-love at least on the outside, I look on social media and see stars my age, Yara Shahidi, Sza, Zendaya ,Justine Sky and so many others and I’m starting to feel like it’ll never happen for me.
So, What’s the problem…
It all came down to the question of Why I didn’t love myself? Why was it so damn hard to look at myself every morning and say I’m beautiful? Of course, I had my days where I felt cute, but that feeling only lasted for so long then I would quickly go back to hating all my flaws. Every day I had a different vision of how I wanted myself to be and look like. I guess you can say I tried to fake til I make it. I went through a lot of phases in college I didn’t know my style because I was to busy keeping up with what others looked like. I tried to fit the part in what was trendy for others, but deep down I was so uncomfortable with myself. There were times where I stayed in my dorm all day long because I was exhausted in trying to keep up. I have compared myself to others all the time. I always wanted to be like other people since I was younger. You know its okay to have someone who inspires you or who you want to be like. But If you can’t be your own inspiration then the rest of you will be a lost soul. For me I wanted to feel a void by looking for acceptance from others such as my family, friends, and strangers. I had a family full of beautiful strong black women. I looked up to my older sister so much I wanted to be exactly like her. I thought she was perfect, so beautiful and talented and independent. Until I realized I wasn’t good at the stuff she was good at and we were very different in most ways. So, the issue was me going on a journey of self-discovery. I been on this self-discovery for a long time, but I never stuck to one thing sports were a no go for me, I tried band for a little while, tried theater, dance etc. Here I am at 22 and still figuring it out. That’s okay I’m learning to accept it what is life without discovery anyways. Furthermore, I see how the men in my life have affected the views of myself as well. College opened my eyes up to a lot. I’m pretty sure that’s normal for every college girl. We are all introduced to a different world from where we come from. There’s no manual in making the all the right choices in college. It’s all about exploring, hoping to find a drum line or love and basketball type of love. Yeah that was my mindset then. Every guy I encountered I was like yep he is going to be my Love Jones. I wanted it so bad, but every situationship I was in I failed, and I say I because not all of the guys were bad I just was afraid and insecure. I felt that I was unworthy of love, no one will ever love me, so I pushed it away. It is a contradiction now that I think about it I want love so bad but I’m afraid of it. Those situation ships led me to my darkest places and to choices I am not proud of. I was overwhelmed. I believe in love so much I wanted someone to love me and find me interesting so bad. The deeper issue was that I needed to love ME and find ME interesting so bad before some else did.
The year of 2017 led me to process my thoughts into journal writing. February of that year I purchased my journal. Way before all that I did my research about self-love in 2017. It was new wave not just for me but for everyone felt like. Starting with YouTube I subscribed to so many women who were on their self-love journey as well. They all inspired me to continue to not give up on myself. Many of the women I was inspired by had journals which also inspired me to invest in one. In my journal I write a lot of quotes from Pinterest, sermons, podcast I listened too. I also found a little creativity within myself. I implemented art into my journal by sketching of things I felt or if I wrote a quote I would sketch a piece to go with it. I took my time with these sketches some took months, but the result made me feel amazing. The process of sketching truly gives me a peace of mind, a time for relaxation. At first I discredited myself of course like “Oh the first sketch looks good because you took a long time on it.” Then my other pieces took less time and came out decent so I was like maybe it could really be my hidden talent. I needed to work on giving my self-credit for the things I did. Journaling has been the one thing I have been consistent with in myself love journey I’m glad I encountered the circumstances that led me to it.
So now its 2019, I look and see how far I have come and how I still have long ways to go. Self-love is hard and doesn’t happen overnight. It’s like they say, “Paris wasn’t built in a day.” This takes time and will not happen in a day, week, month or even year. Two and half years later and I’m still making some of the same mistakes but I’m learning from them in different forms and I’m focusing and what do next rather than trying to worry about out where I went wrong. The key is recognizing your issue and then finding ways to fix it. Each year I make a resolution to fall in love with myself deeper than the year before. It could be the small things I fall in love with, but if I can accept the small things I can eventually accept the bigger flaws. I write post it on my mirror, inspired by Being Mary Jane to remind myself of what I like about me. I also spend a lot of time alone learning about myself. The love in self love also stems from the care you give yourself. When I am alone I sketch, take time to do my hair, cleansing my face and body trying to love the skin and sometimes I exercise. Moreover, I been focusing more on my life goals in I want to accomplish whether long term or short term. Also, music plays a huge role in this journey as well. Music hits every emotion you feel and for me I have been able to dig deeper in music by expanding my horizons to every genre besides R&B. One band I discovered the 1975 got me through a lot of my emotions, from them I was able to listen to other similar artist and the rest is history. I believe music is important to heal and help you feel deeply when you don’t have the words to express it yourself. I also been blessed with people in my life who support me and truly accept me for me. I cherish these people because on days when I forget to be kind to myself they show me so much love making my journey easier. I am not even close to where I want to be, but I am proud of self for making decisions to love me first. Through every lesson I have learned so far it’s something worth sharing. This is my first post ever that a special friend of mine wanted me to write. It’s out of my comfort zone and I never thought I would ever be doing something like this, but I trust someone reading can relate to me and when I think of that it makes me feel like I’m doing something right. So, Thank You Henry Darnell for allowing me such an opportunity.
1. Journal your thoughts/emotions/pray
2. Find your creativity
3. Take care of yourself
4. Release negative self talk
5. “Being Mary Jane” Post its
7. Treat your self
8. Take time off social media/ Listen to NEW genres of music
9. Take myself out on dates
10. Be yourself, Accept yourself, and Forgive Yourself