I mess up. All the time. Between the countless accidents I’ve had at work alone – I’m a klutz by nature.
I stumble over my words. Or I repeat myself over again because I forget I just asked the same thing. The words stuttering on my tongue. I sometimes lose the ability to speak normal words. Actually, when I was a kid, I used to suffer from a noticeable speech impediment. My “r’s” were my hardest, they came out sounding more like a “w” sound. And I struggled with certain “a” sounds. As a kid, I was super embarrassed to talk, especially out loud in class.
The funny part is, the amount of times I had people ask me where I was from because it sounded more like an accent than a speech impediment. If only. As I got older, my words became more pronounced, but I still struggle every now and then with certain words, especially with a strong “r” in it. Like “brewer” is hard for me to say. I used to struggle saying the word “world.”
It’s been almost two years since I graduated college, and I have nothing to show for my degree. Nothing at all. I’m working at a fucking restaurant selling beer. It makes me feel so out of sorts when I think about that. There are people I graduated with living out their dreams, or at least headed on the right path. What the fuck am I doing? Contemplating if I should just let them teach me how to make pizzas so I can work towards getting a raise or something.
But I know I’ll get there. It took me a long time to really accept my situation for what it was. I always felt like I was so behind everyone – I even started college a year after everyone, and I spent a year after high school doing absolutely nothing at all. Honestly, I went through periods of depression through some of it. I was so unhappy, I felt so alone. My friends were few and far between – I hardly had anyone around. I just felt so lifeless. The tension between my mother and step father made everything worse. I didn’t know how to speak up back then, I had no voice. It was just to follow what mother wanted, because my wants weren’t practical, realistic. They were bad decisions.
It made me hate myself. High school had some good parts, but looking back, I was a shut in because of my home life. And it made it hard to really move forward with myself, or be okay with myself.
There was a time in the 9th grade, when things were really rough at home, that I went to this Christmas dance at school. My one friend let me borrow this really pretty sparkling red dress (it didn’t fit her) and at the dance she let me use some of her eye shadow (which was big for me, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup). I felt really pretty for once, and that was so rare for me to feel. I even got my first slow dance with this cute boy – the song was maybe slow for a minute before it got fast and it just went awkward. I told my mom about it, because with everything bad going on, I had a great night, and I felt great about myself.
When she got mad at me sometime later that week or so, she threw it all in my face. That I was acting like some hot stuff because I was able to get a dance in with a boy. I remember telling her, through tears, that she was wrong, so wrong, because I didn’t even think I was pretty. And she told me I was dumb. While she said those things out of anger towards me (and the situation), I remember it still. And it reminds me that I really did go through a hard time accepting how I look.
My mother never allowed me to wear makeup, or to flaunt myself. She didn’t want me to turn into a slut. I had this very light and neutral eye shadow a friend had given me, and I wore it often in high school because it was natural looking. She took months to notice it, and when she did she basically told me that I was turning myself into a clown and that only sluts wear eye shadow to get attention from boys. Now that I’m an adult, she has no say over me wearing makeup, and actually doesn’t comment on it. But as a kid? She was brutal and harsh about it. While she may have been preaching about self beauty, it always came off the wrong way.
Looking in the mirror, I would always think I looked so basic. There was nothing that appealing about me. I was cute I guess, but sometimes I really hated the way I looked. My nose was too long, my shoulders were too broad, my stomach had rolls. I wasn’t fat by any means, I weighed less than 110 lbs, but I wasn’t happy with myself. Because I compared how I looked to the other girls around me. Why were some so skinny and they weighed as much as I did? They were always so pretty, and I was just… plain. No wonder why boys didn’t bother with me. At least, that’s how I felt.
Looking back, now that I’ve matured, I realize that a lot of it was peer pressure and social expectations. Nowadays, I’m mostly okay with how I look. There are times I’m just whatever about it, but I’ve accepted myself, and I wear makeup because I like to for me, or I feel like dressing myself up. It’s not because I don’t like myself natural – hell, I don’t even wear a lot of makeup when I do put more makeup on. My basic look is just simple eyeliner, mascara, and a dash of lip color.
When it comes to accepting yourself, it’s all about your attitude. Don’t dress up for someone else, dress up because you want to change up your look, or strut your stuff. Work it if you got it. Even now, if I really try to dress up, I feel like a little kid playing dress up – it just feels off, even if I look great. Most times my mind psychs myself out, so I don’t risk going out in public looking “too hot” if that’s even how you’d describe it. I have confidence, but not that much. And honestly, I know that’s not who I am, and that’s okay. It’s okay to just be comfortable, it’s just about enjoying your environment and the people you’re around.
Getting older, I’ve learned a lot about myself. And accepting that I’m a human being who screws up – like everyone else on this planet – is hard sometimes. There’s all this weight to be better. But you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay if I’m behind everyone else, because my story is far from over yet and I’ll get there. I was always a late bloomer in that sort of thing. But it doesn’t mean I’ll give up on those dreams, I’m still young and able to make my own future.
If you spend all of your time hiding behind your flaws, you’ll never move forward. You are beautiful just for being you. There’s only one you, and nobody likes a copy cat. The day you stop caring about competing or following the crowd, is the day you become who you really are. Or, at least, the day that you accept yourself.
My flaws are ugly sometimes, but they make me who I am. And being perfect is so overrated, I’ll never be a barbie, and I’ll never be flawless. I don’t believe in social games. You know, when you text someone, they wait three hours to text you back, so you wait 3 hours to text them back. It’s the same with talking to guys. Either you want to talk to me, or you don’t. I don’t have time to waste on petty games, and it is very childish and very high school-ish. I was so quiet in high school, so afraid of many things, I never took a stand for myself.
Let me tell you, too, that confidence is the biggest key. When you put your foot down and express yourself, it’s an amazing feeling. To not hold back, and just let things out. Stop holding yourself back. It’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to say something stupid. It’s okay to forget something. It’s okay to just fuck everything up, make irreversible mistakes. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to forget, to forgive. Scream at the top of your lungs, live in the moment, move on with your life. It’s okay to just be human. It’s okay to fail. We’re not perfect, and that’s okay.
Accept yourself. And your flaws.
January Writing Challenge #8