I knew I needed to post something.
Aside from the fact that it’s been two weeks, I needed to let out some emotions.
I don’t really know where to begin.
Maybe this is a stream of consciousness, but I hope by the end it will become something.
Last last night.
A week ago.
They all have something in common.
And they all helped me realize that I am more than my most severe insecurities.
A week ago I stargazed for two hours with Andrew. And we got deep. The kind of deep where he called me out on all the ways I need to be a better person. And the kind of deep where I realized he was more than right and completely broke down.
The next night I told Chris I was having some problems, and he took the time right then and there to talk me through it.
These were pivotal moments, pivotal moments in my growth, in my discovery that something was truly off balance.
And what was off balance was a giant insecurity that had been building up for years and was now taking over every aspect of my life.
So Wednesday night I sat in William’s car and told him that insecurity.
I had never told anyone, but I felt he was the person I needed to tell.
I told him how this year at college that insecurity had only gotten worse. Way worse. So bad that it was reaching a breaking point.
People knew, people had noticed, I told him.
But they didn’t know all of it. And now someone knew.
William knew every bit.
It was scary, telling someone such a huge part of myself. I could never get that piece back. He will forever know.
But I’m okay with that.
Because William didn’t criticize me. He didn’t make me feel stupid. He didn’t tell me I was irrational. He calmed me down. He told me I was beautiful. He told me I was stunning, actually. And he told me I could do anything I wanted. He told me I had potential. That my life means something, and that I am more blessed than I could ever imagine.
I realized how selfish and inwardly focused I had been. I realized that my actions towards my insecurity were pointless, directionless, and harmful.
Lately I’ve been wanting to feel beautiful. I’ve been craving it, really.
Maybe because when I was buying business clothes for my internship it became painfully obvious that I wasn’t a size zero. Or because I see Instagrams of people at the beach and know my body just doesn’t look like theirs. Or because I’ve been at the gym wearing my oversized t shirt and seeing girls just prancing around in their sports bra. Or maybe because the reality of not being in a serious relationship is that I don’t have a guy insisting I’m beautiful every time I talk to him.
But William brought me back to reality. Because in this self pity of not feeling beautiful, I had forgotten about my defining qualities.
“Yeah, maybe you’re not super skinny,” he told me. “But you’re so many other things, Hope. So many other things….” And proceeded to list off the qualities that made him proud to be my best friend.
Somehow I forgot about why I do what I do. I forgot who I was.
At this point William told me to look at him. He told me to look at him so he could tell me just how special I am.
But I couldn’t do it.
I couldn’t look him in the eyes. I couldn’t see the truth behind his words because I didn’t want to believe it.
It was easier to stay in denial. It was easier to accept that I would never be good enough, that I would never be pretty enough, that my biggest insecurity would just never go away.
And so as he told me over and over again that I mean the world to him, that I mean the world to so many people, I starred at my feet and shook my head.
I used to say I didn’t have regrets. But now I regret something. I regret not looking him in the eyes, not letting him make me feel beautiful, not letting myself want to feel beautiful, enough, special. I regret not letting someone help me. I regret not admitting I needed help.
The next night Alex texted me his usual, “Hi! Thinking about you. Love you. How are you?” I replied my usual, “Good, good. Just, you know, plugging along. Pretty tired.”
But that answer didn’t suffice tonight. “How are you doing really?” he asked.
It became easier to tell him, to tell a second person.
“I could tell,” he told me. He said on our walk the day before he just knew I wasn’t being myself. He said my confidence wasn’t there.
I didn’t really have to say anything before he launched into a hundred texts about how I was going to get through this, how I needed to pick my head up, how I am more than my insecurities. “So much more.” He said.
And unlike with William, this time I let myself believe it. I let that feeling wash over me and I told Alex that he had a unique way of making me feel special. But he insisted that I am in charge of my own feelings. And I choose whether to feel enough or not. And he is so right.
When Chandler and I had an hour and a half phone call the next night, I told her everything, too. And she listened. And she told me I’m not alone. And she understood.
Three people in three nights.
Now where am I going with this?
Like I said at the beginning, I don’t really know. Maybe to say that I don’t deserve the friends I have. Maybe to admit that as much as I try to act like I fully believe that life is about more than the surface stuff, the surface stuff still really gets to me, too.
But really I think where I’m going with this is that if you have an insecurity, no matter how big or small, how ridiculous or intense it may seem, you need to do three things.
First, you need to talk about it. Not to anyone and not to everyone. To people you trust, to people that reaffirm you, to people that will be concerned and want to help. To people that will love you.
Second, you need to look that person in the eyes when he tells you are more than your insecurity. So that you can let yourself believe it. So that you can want to believe it.
And third, you need to understand that for everything that might be “wrong” with you, that might seem “worse” than other people, that might seem “not good enough”, you have twenty things that are right, that are better, that are good enough. And you need to write those down. And look at them every day. And go back to those friends that affirm you and help you and have them remind you of those amazing qualities you have.
And I think overall where I’m going with this is that this blog is me. I don’t really know who I was without this space to let my emotions out, to vulnerably admit things, to show other people that they are not alone, to encourage and maybe even inspire.
But know that this blog isn’t just for the people who read it. It’s for me, too. Because I’ve really needed to hear everything I’m typing. And everything you’re struggling with, all the answers you so desperately want, I am struggling too. I want answers, too. And by writing this stream of consciousness, I start finding answers. I start realizing I am more. I start realizing that maybe I am beautiful. In my own special and enough way.