On Being Comfortable in My Own Skin
This has been a struggle. And when I say struggle, I mean S T R U G G L E. I know I’m not the only one, so let me break it down for a second:
This is so multi-faceted, I don’t even know where to start.
Growing up, I kind of had my life simply written out for me. Written out by those who raised me, aka my parents. I say it was written out, or “dictated” down to me, it was expected of me to:
1. be a good student
2. get good grades (see point 1)
3. be at home
Once I was old enough:
4. help at the restaurants
5. go to college and graduate
6. get a job
7. and suddenly, all of these “milestone” expectations stopped here
But in between all of this, I was never allowed to think for myself (even though I still did), I was never supposed to speak for myself, I was never ENCOURAGED to do so, I was never encouraged to find my own interests or pursue a hobby or something I enjoyed. It’s like I “knew” what my life consisted of, and I couldn’t stray from the restaurant and family.
The only thing that was a common thread through all of this was that I liked to read and I loved books. And even this was something I left behind due to bad friendships and not enough encouragement or positive role models. Nobody ever told me about the classics or the socially conscious books I should be reading.
So now, here I am. At 26, I have achieved these “goals” and “expectations” that were placed on my life, I have spoken out about my dislike for the restaurant and now I am truly left alone. But the thing is, I don’t even know what it is that I want. What makes me, me? I don’t even know what kind of music I like. Or what my favorite book is, or what genre of movies I enjoy. It’s like I know nothing about myself. It’s like I am re-learning, I am going through a re-birth. I think my mid to late 20’s is going to be a re-birth of me.
I can’t even begin to touch on the other layers that go under “being comfortable in my own skin.” There’s body image, there’s facial structure, there is hair, there is height. There is so damn much to dissect.