Pretty Like You
Well, it's my first blog post as a college student. I wanted this to be a dorm tour or healthy eating for students, but if I'm honest with myself, there's something bigger on my mind-- comparison. Not because I don't absolutely love college or the friends I'm making or the beach days and movie nights. But because being surrounded by beautiful girls can be tough. After all, most of us are the hardest on ourselves. So here is an entry from a late night last week. I hope you find the same healing energy in reading as I do writing.
She's prettier, skinnier. She's more talented and social; she's more beautiful than me.
Sound familiar? To me it sounds like the same degrading thoughts that ran through my middle-school brain. But that was then and this is now, so why do I feel it again?
College shoves us right back to the bottom of the food chain. Don't get me wrong; going away for school is simultaneously the happiest and freest version of myself thus far. But I've somehow reverted to the negative thoughts, and believe me when I say that comparison will kill you.
"Your story is unique and so so different and not worthy of comparison." Unique yes? But TOO MUCH? Yes. I always feel like "too much." I'm too complicated — too many layers. I've experienced too much, and I've never met another like me. Why is it so hard to embrace our stories? Why do we hate the experiences that have shaped us?
Every part of who I am today is because of the string of events that have lined my life, that have lit me up and sometimes burned me out. I am the trauma and the heartache and the Saturday morning therapy sessions. I am the fighter and the writer and the health nut. I am the sunny days. I am my mother's daughter and my father's proudest accomplishment. So tell me, how do you define yourself by both your tragedies and breath-taking power?
Every role model in my life, every author, artist and friend that I gravitate towards has overcome something. They are complicated, the beautiful ones in life. Not for their looks but for their souls. My energy is drawn to those with love and courage and audacity. The girls with anxiety disorders, the intellectually curious, the messy yet overly prepared.
I'm not drawn to perfection.
So why, why do we believe that we have to be everything? Why do we lift each other up yet tear ourselves down?
I want a collective breath. I want a collective breath from every girl whoever thought that she had to be more.
You don't need to be more. You don't need to be less either. You're not "too much," stop feeling like you're "too much."
Here's the thing; no, I don't want to define myself by my losses in life, and I'm sure you don't either. But I can't hide them. I will never be happy if I push them away. I have lost what I have lost, that's not in the past. It's not a personal problem nor a nostalgic longing, but rather the foundation of every relationship I form, decision I make and word I write. I also have what I have. I am happy with what I have. And you know what, I can have both.
I can be tragic and I can be heroic. I can be soft and I can be messy. I can be all the things I need to be to make it through this life.
You can be broken yet whole, all at once. And that’s pretty damn beautiful to me.
All the love,