For my whole life, I have had to fight emotional challenges. Whether someone made fun of me, I felt insecure, or I just had an awful day, I have had to put a lot of effort into coming out of these challenges and putting myself together again. I have never been a very confident or outgoing girl, so many of my thoughts and feelings stay trapped inside of me.
Being a thirteen-year-old girl, I tend to have negative thoughts about myself a lot of the time. Society has created these standards that every girl is expected to follow, and these standards are not ideal for most girls. These standards just give most girls something that they feel they have to live up to that is not who they are. This is often why many girls lose who they are because they are trapped trying to be someone else. When girls don’t fulfill these expectations, they tend to feel bad about themselves.
However, why should people be encouraged to squeeze into the boxes that they don’t fit into? Why have these “boxes” been created in the first place? We should not be in boxes; we should be free. Free to be who we are, with no standards attached.
I have a hard time with this concept. I tell myself that I’m not good enough; that I need to fulfill so many expectations. I have insecurities just like every girl in the world does. So, here is a little request: When you see something that is imperfect about me, there is no need to remind me. Trust me, I know. I remind myself of my imperfections everyday. Half of the flaws I see are probably not noticed by anyone else. But I can tear myself apart because of the parts of myself that I don’t like, and none of this feels very good. I sometimes cry to myself when no one is watching, and I hope and pray that one day I will be “good enough”.
When I am reminded of my imperfections by another voice that is not mine, it can feel like digging into a wound that has been created long ago. When I hear a voice that is not mine repeat these words to me, my heart shatters. Someone else has noticed. Someone else thinks I’m not good enough. It must be true.
I imagine that I am not the only teenager who goes through this painful process.
I am getting there, though. I’m working so hard on myself and I’m learning to realize that no matter what mean words I am hearing, either from the inside or the outside, that I am good enough. I’m doing this by learning to focus on the parts of myself that I actually like instead of the parts that I don’t like.
Because of my own experiences, I am very cautious about what I say to others. One never knows what someone is dealing with in their personal life, or inside of them, even if it looks like they have everything figured out. Being kind to everyone is the best route to go. If you say a mean comment to someone, you can either ruin their happiness, or add more to their sadness. Kind words are so simple, but they can do so much. They can put a smile on someone’s face, someone who has been going through a really hard time. Even if someone is already happy, adding some extra kindness into their day can never go wrong.
I challenge you to be kind to one another and to be kind to yourself; why not try to focus on saying nice things to one another and to yourself, too, because one thing this world could really use more of right now is kindness. It can start right here with you and me.