Riddled with mockery of how I looked, how I sounded and how I behaved.
‘Why is your voice so deep?’ ‘Don’t you know you’re ugly?’ ‘Why do your teeth look that way?’ ‘Your lips are so huge! *gasp*’ ‘At least your baby pictures are not as bad as how you look now…’ ‘Why are you so quiet?’ ‘Your height will put guys off when you want to marry you know…’
Said to me, written to me and intentionally and noticeably implied to me.
I’d lived many years walking with my head held down for fear of more ridicule and criticism of my facial features. And little by little, I had my self-confidence being constantly torn apart by the little things people said and the subtle condescending ways people had acted to me.
We lived in a society bound by looks, a society where the first impression was based on your physical features. But really all I had were [some] mental intelligence and some [not very good at the time] social intelligence. I knew how to make friends, but I didn’t bother going to people. And whilst I tried using this social intelligence to my advantage, I was also overly cautious of not overstepping my boundaries. Be friendly but not too friendly… Smile but not too widely. Frowning worked perfectly anyway…. I was already ugly and so a smile would never make it better. And slowly, my character tied itself so neatly into these social definitions of who I was.
In an attempt to draw away from these ‘concepts of myself’, I strayed to the extreme. I decided to become a ‘better’ version of myself, which at the end of the day turned out for the worst. In the end I think I did too much, and still didn’t do much at the same time. My ‘confidence’-or rather what I thought it was- soared higher than I’d ever imagined, but at a terrible cost to my morals and values. I became overly carefree, overly careless and morally and spiritually bankrupt.
I’ve made decisions and invested my time in things that even 20 years from now, I’d never regret. I’m a happier version of myself this year (who knows what would happen next year?). And with this happiness, I’ve been able to grow my confidence. I’m able to walk out of my house wearing nothing on my face but a smile. I’m able to take off my wig and makeup and stare at my self in the mirror and say confidently, ‘You’re still beautiful Anjola’.
In the past, because I was too concerned with how the world defined beauty and how I didn’t fit into that defined mould, my self-esteem took a big hit and for most of my life, I struggled with a terrible inferiority complex. Now, knowing that I’m the most beautiful thing in God’s eyes is really enough for me. And it is with this conviction that I’ve conquered mountains and the world. It is with this conviction that I’ve held my head high, looked inferiority complex straight in the eye and say, ‘You ARE beneath me’.
I used to see all these, my weird and flawed facial features. They were literally the only things I saw really. I used to let society define how I saw myself, as opposed to allowing God, and me, define how I was. I’d allowed it eat into my self-confidence to the point where I had none left. Now, I see a beautiful and powerful woman, growing constantly in God and the love he has for her.
I’m still on the journey everyday to becoming a much better person than I was yesterday. And with each day that passes, I try to note how tomorrow, I can improve and be much better.
I want to have a powerful voice. When I speak, I want people to listen, and not just count the spaces between my teeth mockingly. I want to have a compelling message with the tone of my voice, with every word that comes out of my mouth. I want to be able to stand in front of huge crowds of people, wearing the deeply rooted self-confidence God has promised to give me.
I want to be able to raise my head high, shoulders squared up and speak CONFIDENCE wherever I am. I want to be able to say “I AM ME, regardless of what everyone thinks, I AM
ME; Call me a fool or an idiot, I’d still be me
regardless, because the hero of myself is me!” [GOT7 inspired: “I AM ME].
[Photocredit: @theblackscribbler on instagram]