Aiming to please

This morning as I walked out of the garage to go to the train station I realised that I always put others before me. I have neglected my own wants and desires to such an extent that I have forgotten what they are entirely and is presenting itself as lack of desire. Or maybe I’ve just come to a point where I am content with my life and I’m not looking for anything to fill it with. I’m now just bored instead. It’s a little confusing. What I do know is that I would like to travel. I want to see parts of the world I haven’t seen before. I want to feel all the different kinds of wind brush against my face. I want to taste food I have never tasted before and experience flavours that are completely new.

My realisation came after I yelled at my sister, frustrated that she kept giving me the clothes that she didn’t want and just assuming I would put them in my wardrobe and readily wear them. She had good intentions. She didn’t want to throw them away and she thought maybe giving her track pants to me would be better than donating them.

I didn’t want them though and I felt like she was in some way just dumping her clothes on me. I was getting a little annoyed as well that she kept asking me whether she should keep certain clothes or not but maybe she was just looking for a second opinion rather than validation. Maybe I should have thought about that first instead of getting frustrated.

If I really want to be honest to myself, I think it is time I start putting myself first instead of others. It doesn’t mean I’m going to become selfish for doing it. I don’t want to be a selfish person. It just means that it will be ok for me to say no sometimes to other people and that I should do things because I really want to, not in the hopes that I would be pleasing the other person in some way. I think I do it subconsciously now, my actions are driven by wanting to please others. It’s not a bad thing, but when I do it to the detriment of my own well-being and self-worth, the action only goes to hurt me rather than providing a sense of fulfilment. 

‘You’re beautiful’

No one has ever told my sister that she is ugly. I asked her myself,

‘Has anyone ever said that you are “ugly”?’

‘No.’

There are days when she looks in a mirror with me in the room and she says,

‘I am ugly.’

I wonder how often she repeats these words to herself when there’s no one listening. I tell her,

‘That’s not true, you’re beautiful.’ I say it over and over again until she tells me to stop. That’s when I look into her eyes and say,

‘You’re beautiful.’

My sister was not taught to hate the way she looks. Her insecurities grew because she was surrounded by images of an “ideal” that she couldn’t turn herself into. She was assaulted with “views” and “looks” that were manufactured to symoblise ‘perfection.’ A notion that was impossible for such a young girl to carry on her shoulders.

As she couldn’t attain her “ideal self” that the society around her so cruelly asked for, she came to a simple conclusion. She was ‘ugly.’

With some encouragement slowly, my sister is beginning to accept the person that she is. She has a way to go but I know she is strong. She’s beginning to see that there are more important aspects that make her who she is and it’s not just about the way she looks.

There are too many people out there telling themselves things that are not true. What they need is someone looking from the outside to recognise the person that is within.

Look after those around you. Tell them they are beautiful.