Linking this old post with #IMUSTCONFESS because for some reason I thought the theme for this last confessional was 'a post that was hard for you to admit'. I think I somehow just invented that whole theme in my head but never mind. I like this post now because I can see how far I've come. Still a long way to go but in much better place...so thank Kirsty for all the years! And good luck on the new ventures.
I was listening to the radio and the announcer (I think it was Emma from The Edge), a young woman tells a story how in a past relationship, her partner never complimented her. Then one day, she was with some girlfriends who were saying 'I love it when my husband tells me I look hot' or 'My boyfriend says I'm sexy' and so on, and she realises "I'm with the wrong person. He doesn't appreciate me" and so they broke up.
Two things struck me with this story, firstly, she had such great self esteem that it hadn't been eroded by his lack of compliments, and her first thought was 'He doesn't appreciate me' rather than 'He doesn't find me attractive' or worse 'I mustn't be attractive'. I know I would definitely, especially as I age, be taking it as a flaw in me, not a flaw in him. I would love to have such strong self esteem - I don't know how you build it, but I'm working on it.
The second point that the story raised, was that she decided to break up with him when he wasn't present. They didn't have a massive fight that prompted it, she didn't limp the relationship through the unhappy death knell in an attempt to change him. She just decided she was worth better, and freed herself to seek it.
My ego has been taking a battering over the last few years, writing and aging are not kind to self esteem, and the weak just get weaker. (I've spoken before on the difficulty of keeping your head high after the multiple writing rejections). However, I've decided to work on it, as it's the new body I'm stuck in, so I may as well learn to love it, instead of hating what I see in the mirror.
The last few years have slowly chipped away at my self esteem, eroding it to unhealthy lows. I was surprised when I heard the story and I realise that must be 'normal' perception of self worth, and mine is the painfully distorted one.
There's a lot we can learn from Kanye. Stop laughing. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to never even hear the criticism, because your self belief is so great that you drown out the external negativity with an internal cheer squad? He said “Society has put up so many boundaries, so many limitations on what’s right and wrong that it’s almost impossible to get a pure thought out. It’s like a little kid, a little boy, looking at colors, and no one told him what colors are good, before somebody tells you you shouldn’t like pink because that’s for girls, or you’d instantly become a gay two-year-old. Why would anyone pick blue over pink? Pink is obviously a better color. Everyone’s born confident, and everything’s taken away from you”. Look at little kids at the school dance - they're loving themselves sick over their moves, there's not an ounce of self conscious judgement holding them back. Whatever they do is great, and they believe it. I want to get a little of that confidence back.
Why do we let other people take our confidence away? Why does society want to set so many limitations on our sense of beauty and value? It seems so mean and pointless. And if we can't keep our head above it, so self defeating.
So day by day I'm working on it, and hopefully one day I'll begin to believe it too.
I'll leave you with this quote “I believe in myself like a five-year-old believes in himself. They say look at me, look at me! Then they do a flip in the backyard. It won't even be that amazing, but everyone will be clapping for them.” We'd all be happier with a little Kanye in our head.