Most of the time, I make deprecating jokes. Some of them aren’t even technically jokes. They are how I really feel. I talk about how much I hate myself. I complain about my insecurities — the size of my forehead, the size of my nose, the size of my waist. I treat myself poorly because I cannot shake the feeling that I am not good enough. I don’t know my own worth. I believe that everyone surrounding me is more important, more talented, more valuable. I think of myself as a bother. I toss the word failure around in my head because it seems to fit me better than success.
However, there are moments when I force myself to take a step back and look at how much I have grown in the past few years — even the past few months.
Even though I feel much more comfortable whining about what a screwup I am, I have to admit that I am proud of myself. I am proud of the person I have become. I have been actively working on myself for a long time. I have tried to become a healthier person. A nicer person. A person with unshakable morals and unstoppable determination.
I am not exactly where I want to be — but I am getting closer. I am taking steps toward my destination each and every day. I have made mistakes but I have also made achievements. I have rediscovered myself. I have found out what I really want from this world and am working towards grabbing it.
I am not completely happy with myself, but I like myself more than I have in a long time. I am more comfortable in empty rooms. I am more enthusiastic about pictures of myself. I am growing to appreciate the person staring back at me in the mirror instead of constantly criticizing her.
Even though I spend most of my time acting like everything sucks, in reality, I have accomplished more than I ever thought possible. I am doing well for myself. I might not have a wedding ring on my finger or three diplomas hanging from my walls — but I am not sure if I even want those things. My version of success is not the same as another person’s version of success.
Most of the time, I am too hard on myself. I never think anything I do is enough. I compare myself to my friends and to celebrities, even though I know it’s wrong. The little voice inside my head picks out my flaws, and even though I attempt to silence it, I still hear its complaints.
I’m not perfect. I’m not trying to be perfect. I’m just trying to be better.
I’m going to start by being a little bit nicer to myself, even though I’m used to saying mean things about myself. I’m used to putting on an act (that’s not really an act) about how nothing I do is right and how I am going to end up alone.
But it’s time for me to admit the truth I have been afraid to speak for so long — underneath it all, I am really fucking proud of myself.