My Journey to Achieve Self-Love

The idea of self-love seems so simple and beautiful. Being able to put yourself first and wake up most days feeling confident is the dream.

Some people are able to achieve this early on while it takes others years of inner battles.

Unfortunately, I grew up battling my head and struggling to realize my worth.

My insecurity started at an early age when I moved from the city to the suburbs. I was a weird kid that didn’t like a lot of “popular” things. I was also naïve about peoples’ judgment of others. I didn’t care what other people liked so I assumed that’s how everyone else thought.

In elementary school, I was in for a rude awakening when some of my classmates didn’t like how different I was. I was made fun for stupid things such as being friendly to the ‘weird’ kid or wanting to share my short stories to the class but because I didn’t stick up for myself, the teasing continued.

In middle school, I had a group of bitchy girls cyberbully me. Apparently not wanting to wear makeup or engage in a lot of drinking and hooking up was a huge problem to girls I wasn’t even good friends with in the first place. I wish I realized that these girls were the ones with the problem because their comments made me question myself.  

In high school, I wasn’t teased by anyone but I desperately wanted to fit in. All of the mean things people said or did over the years got to me and made me believe that I had to be a certain type of girl. I thought that guys liked the girl with long straight hair, tiny body, flat waist, and wild personality.

These attempts to impress caught up to me and I developed an eating disorder from it. My mind was clouded with such a false reality to the point where I thought that if I became super skinny I would be able to achieve everything else I wanted.

I would go home and gorge out on junk food then spit everything out. I figured I’d get the satisfaction of the taste without consuming the calories.

Instead of losing weight, I gained weight from this unhealthy habit and it took my friends a couple times to get me to stop. One of my friends made me stare at my trash can which was filled with large paper towels wrapped up in food spit.

I looked at myself in the mirror with disgust and stared at my new body. I turned into a girl that had no love at all for herself.

It took a couple months for me to lose the weight and figure out what was a healthy diet. That was progress but it wasn’t nearly enough for me to feel self-love.

When I transferred to Temple, I went through quite a transformation. The lightbulb didn’t magically go off in my head but there were a lot more days where I saw the beauty in me.

It took time and about a thousand texts and speeches from my friends for things to start clicking.

Once I started focusing on myself, I noticed that it affected my life positively. I’d look at myself in the mirror and see a gorgeous girl with pretty eyes. I would walk along campus feeling more confident about my looks and body whether I was dolled up or wore something casual with no makeup.

I began embracing who I was and showed people all the ‘weird’ stuff that I was into. I also noticed too that when I was content, there were a lot more people who admired who I was and wanted to get to know me more.

It was a relief being able to get through the day without having a constant fear of what people are thinking of me or debating if I have to change something about myself.

There were still days where I felt like shit, which was expected, but I felt like that was one of the most important things I learned. When I decided to focus on myself, I assumed that a couple days of positive thoughts would make the insecurities go away.

Clearly that wasn’t the case but learning to feel self-love helped make my shitty days easier to deal with.

As corny as this sounds, self-love truly did impact my life in a positive way and I’m glad that after years of constant self-doubt, I started to feel happy.