Wednesday, October 10

lessons i learn from my friends.

I, like many people, struggle with being insecure. I struggle with looking into the mirror. I struggle with feeling pretty. I struggle with feeling worthy. For a very long time I just wanted to be anybody but me. It was when I started letting my own insecurity affect my friendships that I knew I needed to do some rethinking (because a lobotomy was apparently out of the question).

Through middle school, high school and even after I left GMCS, I wasn't just looking at myself and seeing imperfections- I was always comparing myself. I compared myself to my cousins - I wasn't pretty, skinny, cute and entertaining like they were.I compared myself to my friends because I wasn't beautiful, wealthy, busty, smart and the boys definitely did not want to have movie nights with this girl. I compared myself to older girls at school who walked confidently through the halls and had everyone's attention. As I got older I compared myself to the girls at Student Leadership Conferences I went to - they were so outgoing and made friends so easily and I must not have been interesting enough to fit in there. I compared myself to the girls on opposing Volleyball teams, the other girls backpacking through Guatemala, the girls dancing at bars, the girls at the mall.

I didn't know who I was, or who I wanted to be but I was certain it wasn't me. To me, every girl I saw was a representation of something I was lacking.  This girl had thicker hair, the other girl had a flat stomach, she gets good grades, that girls teeth were straight, these girls were more travel savvy... blah blah blah. And you know what this always led back to? The fact that because of all these things - GUYS were more interested in every girl besides me. I couldn't understand why some desperate pathetic guy out there couldn't just give in and date me.

So for approximately 10 years I was judging myself based on my thoughts of why guys liked other girls. This not only affected the way I thought about myself but it affected the way I thought about my friends and other girls. My comparisons to other girls made me resent them (and worse, my friendships were affected by how I thought boys felt about me)- sort of a "she hates you because she's jealous" deal except I never hated anyone. I had it all wrong.

As I got older, grew up (a little), started losing weight, started finding myself more and started finding my own identity as a woman and a woman who actually might be date-able.... things changed. First off, I realize now that comparing myself to other girls, especially my friends, when it comes to looks is ridiculous. I'm never going to look like them - I'm never going to look like anyone else but me!

Resenting my friends and punishing them for my own insecuries was unfair and wrong. It was not their fault I was insecure and it was not their fault they are smart, beautiful and awesome and boys liked them better than they liked me and better than I liked myself. I could've spent a lot of wasted time learning from my friends and growing from their strengths because I have a really awesome group of girl friends. I should have been trying to become a better me and learning to love myself.

Since this realization I try to not only grow into a better person with the help of my friends but to surround myself with friends who help me grow. I try to surround myself with people who lift me up and who I can do the same thing for. I try to love my friends for the women they are..not dislike them because of my opinion of the woman I am. I have a lot to learn from these women in my life.

Diana brings out my crazy side. She helps me not take myself so seriously. She makes me enjoy life and find a special love for having fun and living life that I can't always find naturally.

Courtney brings out my confident side and reminds me to be real. She has a strong sense of self and makes no excuses for who she is and she helps me be myself and love that person more.

Madeleine brings out my intellectual side and helps remind me that I am not stupid and that I have a voice and she is always there to tell me when I'm making a silly decision. She is definitely the brains of our relationship. She helps me grow into someone I want to be rather then molding me into somebody she wants me to be and I appreciate that friendship so much.

Tamara keeps me strong and cheers me on, she knows me well and has been with me through ups and downs and saw me evolve from a emo caterpillar into who I am now. Her strong will and determination rubs off on me and makes me want to be a machine in all aspects of my life.

Rachel reminds me to love the simple things - family, friends, a nice walk, sitting around enjoying a good visit. She keeps me grounded and reminds me of who I am and where I've been.

All of my friends cheer me on and make me feel good about myself and I truly hope I do the same. When I find myself in a friendship where I don't feel like that's the case, chances are I distance myself from it.

Because of the lessons my friends have taught me, the friendship they have showed me and the faith that they have in me - I know someday I will feel beautiful, I will feel secure in who I am and I will spend my life with someone who treats me with as much love and respect as my friends have shown me. They taught me to expect nothing less. I like knowing that because of who I surround myself with that I am a better person and someday I hope a friend can say that about my friendship. It's a journey, its a battle and it's not easy but self love is important and I plan on finding it.

My point in all of this is to find people who lift you up and don't bring you down. Find people who have the same values as you, find people who open your mind, who raise your spirits and who help you grow. Don't waste your time on people who bring you down or make you feel like you can't be who you are or who you want to be.

& most importantly, always stay true to yourself.

Big Love,
Bailey

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16 comments:

  1. I know you are beautiful inside and out...always have been always will be. You have amazing qualities that others see so easily but that you are only just beginning to get a glimpse of. You are one of my most favorite people! xoxoxo

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  2. You are FUCKING gorgeous. Never forget that. :-)

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  3. What a marvelous post. Your journey is an inspiration to all of us.

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  4. A great post, Bail. I could definitely relate.

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  5. Good post. And you have a lot of friends!!! and ps I didn't get my first bf til I was 20.... lol I was totes an awkward jockey/dykey athlete girl who didn't know what the hell I was trying to be. Lifes so much better when you just don't give a f....

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  6. Love this post, and your honesty! I've had those feelings of insecurity too, but then I realized comparing myself to everyone else was exhausting! So I stopped trying haha. Your friends sounds pretty freakin awesome- makes me want to strengthen my relationships with my girlfriends!

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    1. For sure - those friendships are SO important! and you are right.. comparing is absolutely exhausting.

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  7. I'm so sorry you've had to go through such a rough time, but you are lucky to have such great friends! What an inspirational story!

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  8. I have always been amused to be here....simply an awesome post..

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  9. This is why I adore your blog! Your writing, and I have said this a million times by now, is just so genuine and inspiring. You make introspection appealing and motivational to the masses. I loved this post. You remind me so much of myself when I was younger and I can only tell you, and you obviously are already figuring this out yourself, that everything seems to get better as you get older, especially your relationships that are worth having, most importantly, the one with yourself.

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