A letter to me,
Don’t let the world try and change you. Embrace the unique qualities about you. Love the person you have become.
It’s not often that you are reminded of this so let me remind you again. You are strong, you are beautiful and you are intelligent. Take care of yourself.
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.
Last night I had a dream that my eyebrow was growing the same way as my hair does, curly and really bushy. My eyebrow was growing really thick. Part of it was growing out and over the middle and when I pushed this bit to the side, underneath I found the remains of a spider’s egg sac. It was covering most of my eyebrow and had left a brown, sticky residue. I was already in the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror, I noticed that the spider was still there. It was the size of a two dollar coin and was crawling across my face. I wasn’t scared by it and calmly swatted it off and started to wash the weird brown webbing off of my eyebrow. The dream was more than strange. I got the sticky stuff off and thought about maybe trimming my eyebrows.
I never considered myself beautiful or to be even more specific I didn’t think anyone would consider me to be beautiful. Slowly I came to learn to love myself. It took years but I eventually got to a point where I was comfortable with the way I looked. The thought was still in my head though that no one could see that I was pretty. It was an idea that was only shared by me and the girl in the mirror. We would exchange smiles when I complimented her hair and her full lips. She would tell me how nice my eyebrows looked and assure me that I had a cute looking nose. We smiled at each other through the glass, my room lit by the lamp on my bedside casting shadows on the wall behind me. She had dark brown eyes that sparkled when she was happy. Those were on the good days when I woke up and could look at myself in the mirror and feel beautiful. I’m glad to say that they far outnumber the bad.
I may have noticed my beauty but I didn’t think anyone else had. I was surrounded by far more attractive people and what was my look compared to theirs? Rather than trying to compete, I accepted my appearance. I had other things to worry about than the latest line of clothes or the newest makeup trend. As long as I felt comfortable with what I was wearing and how my skin felt that morning, I was ok. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself anyway. My newly discovered beauty was not something I was ready to share. Somehow, people noticed. I didn’t mean for them to. I first realised this in October of 2015 when I was at a local ‘club.’ Two boys came up to me and my friends and commented on the volume of my hair. My hair had finally grown long enough, after having a pixie cut, that I could wear it out. It was the first time that I realised I could stand out. I didn’t intend to.
I had developed a new appreciation for my curly black hair after watching a multitude of videos on how to style it. I never knew how to look after my hair so I used to just put it in a bun or braid it. I never wore it down.
My mum would have preferred me with straight hair or thought that’s what I wanted when I was in my teens. She bought straighteners, which she tried on me a few times, but I didn’t like the way they made my hair smell. It was like putting hair to a lit candle. I didn’t feel comfortable with straight hair either because I couldn’t quite recognise the person in the mirror. It wasn’t who I wanted to be. So the straighteners lie in the cupboard, waiting until my mum eventually takes them out to be used on her own hair. Mum looks lovely, by the way, when she does her hair. It suits her. (My mum looks great all the time).
Being noticed for my hair was new to me. I felt like I had hardly been noticed at all and all of a sudden there came about an identifier unique to me that I had had all along. Learning that I could wear my curls, by watching other people do it, I found new confidence in myself. So, I tried something different. I wore my hair down that night at my friend’s party and we ended up going to the club where my appreciation for my hair was solidified. That was also the same night I realised people other than myself might actually think that I was pretty and somewhat attractive. That, is another story.
Maybe if we all wanted less and thought about the things that we really needed in life we’d feel freer. We’d think more about what we have rather than constantly filling our homes with trinkets and items. Humans seem to have an insatiable appetite for things, as if having more is somehow going to protect us from the pain of loss. It’s strange to think that. Why is that we are always trying to obtain more even though more is never quite enough?
Maybe it’s just human nature to want more and to seek for more. If our ancestors hadn’t, the human race would likely not have come as far as it has. We might not have roamed the lands looking for better food or shelter. We might not have made such extraordinary discoveries about our universe. We might not have discovered our own consciousness.
However, in our journey towards more, we lost something. We lost our empathy towards nature.We forgot about the land that gave us food and shelter. We forgot how to walk upon the earth without leaving scars.
Although, our human nature tells us to seek for more, our awoken consciousness also speaks and says that more is not the answer to everything.
Six letters that are supposed to encompass the trajectory of your working life. Where do I even begin if I can’t focus on, can’t choose what path I’m going to take? Inundated with choices and options and maybes and ‘that sounds good’ but never being able to determine whether that or this will be satisfying. In a word, frustrating.