Currently Reading: "Outrageous Acts And Everyday Rebellions" by Gloria Steinem

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I yam what I yam

At the risk of sounding conceited, I am announcing that this year will be all about learning to love myself. I want to love the whole me, not just parts. Because let's face it, I am awesome! We all are awesome. (Ok, well about 98% of us are...I really can't vouch for the remaining 2% who are just terrible. Stop being so terrible, terrible people!) And honestly, I cannot think of one good reason to spend another day down on myself. In the wise words of Kid President "The time to be awesome is now." Right on, Kid President. Right on.

I fall too easily into the trap of self-loathing and being my own worst critic. My ability to self-reflect is a blessing and a curse. I can readily recognize my strengths and faults and take steps towards change, but I dwell entirely too much on my faults, the things I've done wrong, what I could have done better, and things I cannot change. That's no way to live, right?

I don't believe in new years resolutions. I think they are flighty and fleeting and I never make them anymore. It's like setting yourself up for failure - that moment when you realize you aren't accomplishing these major life changes in 12 months. And you always end up making the same resolutions, year after year after year. I believe if you really want to resolve to do something, it should be meaningful and something that transcends a calendar year - life-long goals, and aspirations that positively affect you and the people you surround yourself with. It should probably last past January.

So now, at five and twenty years, I've declared a life-long goal of loving myself. (Also, Josh Radin's "Brand New Day" just came on my Pandora playlist...Oh, universe, you are so great sometimes.)

How does one begin an endeavor such as this?

Step 1: Love my body.

Because it's wonderful and beautiful, albeit imperfect, and it's the only one I've got! I refuse to let society's standards define my body image. I was made in God's image and I am beautiful. I will repeat this mantra until I get it through my thick head. This means actively choosing to ignore the messages thrown at me daily (as a woman), telling me to look a certain way, dress a certain way, and be a certain way. So I'm not a size 2 with perfect hair, book-ended by Michelle Obama-toned arms, and a Jillian Michaels stomach in the middle. I still know I look pretty good for a human.

My face...I am not hiding it anymore with a mask makeup. Can you wear makeup around me without me judging you? Absolutely! Make-up your face to your heart's delight, ladies. I just won't be participating for awhile. I stopped wearing it this past August, and can count on 1 hand the times I've worn it since.  At first I was all, "Oh my face. It must look so unattractive right now. People may think that I look...plain!" It didn't help much that my boss (innocently) mentioned that I looked "tired today"....(on more than one occasion) on days when I was feeling refreshed and ready to take on my world of 8 year olds. But he didn't know. Because in a world where half of us have been taught to hide our faces behind products, and the other half has been taught that beauty is for girls who own pretty faces, I am sure my clear face looked 'tired' after all. But now, I'm all "Oh my face. It must look like me. People may think that I look like.... I own a face!"
I get to start my days thinking about what I will accomplish rather then what I will look like. And let me tell you how freeing it is......It's SO freeing!

Step 2: Embrace my personality & Forgive my shortcomings.

I will, without fail, say something awkward in a social setting. I am cheesy, and laugh too loud at things. I like being the speaker in a room full of friends. Saying things for the shock value is my favorite. I am a lover and I do it whole-heartedly. I need music and smiles. I will spill something on myself when I eat, and I usually care way too much about a subject no one wants to hear about. I'll analyze the psychology behind everyone's decisions and I have the propensity to react badly to things I don't like. I want to be needed, and need to be wanted. I'm working on my anger, and my overly-high expectations for the people in my life. But this is me. Love it or leave it. I'm choosing the 'love it' option in case you weren't sure.

It can only get better from here. Here's to learning to love and accept myself, in spite of faults and imperfections.

After all, I yam what I yam. 

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