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Am I too fat? Am I too skinny? Am I too boring? Am I too smart? Am I too bossy? Am I too nice?
All these “Am I too’s” float around in everyone’s minds, regardless of age. Boys and girls, men and women. No one is safe from these self-deteriorating questions. No one is immune to this disease. When we look at ourselves in the smudged and blemished mirrors of our bathrooms, all we can spot are imperfections within ourselves. Every little imperfection we identify chips away at our will to be happy. In our minds, the mirror is a reflection of how we truly are. Whatever perfect image of ourselves we conjured up in our minds is shattered by the hard truth of reality when we take a look at our less than perfect faces staring sullenly back at us. I have too much acne. I have too much of a double chin. My nose is too wide or too narrow. My hair is too nasty. I am too ugly.
But the mirror goes far deeper than just how you appear on the outside. You think it is a reflection of who you are in terms of your personality. When you notice all the physical imperfections you possess, you are reminded of the imperfections you face in who you are. Your personality falls short of the ridiculously high standards you set for yourself because you think that’s the version of you everyone else wants. So you strive to be that perfect person to please people who are staring in the mirror and wondering how to please you. Your eyes take in your less-than-pleasing appearance, but your mind takes in how you were too quiet today. I was too nice to him today. I was too boring during my presentation. I was too bossy to my teammates. I was too scared to say what I really want. I was too scared to admit I’m scared of being alone.
At the end of the day, that is what everyone is afraid of. Being alone. Maybe it’s a human instinct to want to feel like we belong somewhere. We feel safe with people who care for us, so we strive to get people to care for us so we don’t have to feel alone. The worst feeling in the world is to feel alone in a room full of people. To see everyone else around you having a grand old time with their friends, and not being able to be a part of that because you were too shy. Too quiet. Too uncool. Too fat. Too ugly. Too pointless.
Too many too’s.
But get back to Earth. There is absolutely no way you’re going to please everyone you meet. There will be differences you find with people that you are unable to get past and vice versa. Changing yourself to meet that person’s demands will end up in you losing the interest of another. People always complain about how annoying it is when people change. So why do we torture ourselves to change ourselves so much? Why do we stretch ourselves too thin for others or beat ourselves too hard for others? Why do we stare at the mirror too long for others and why do we cry too much for others?
Why do we do too much for others?
That question is the million-dollar question. Answers vary for different people but what follows is universal: stop doing too much for other’s.
“Others” probably don’t care what you do, or how you act, and what you wear. That’s honestly the cold hard truth. For them, you’re simply a brief glance. If you’re lucky, maybe they’ll think or talk about you for a minute before moving on to some other drama in their lives. And if others care about what you do, or how you act, and what you wear, there are one of two possibilities: they’re your friends or family and they’re looking out for you or encouraging you in whatever it is you’re doing or wearing, or they’re rude people who you shouldn’t give the time of day to.
Stop thinking about what they want and start thinking about what you want. You want to wear that crop top but you don’t have the physique resembling that of high-fashion models? Why is there a “but”? Who cares if you don’t look like Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid? They are gorgeous in their own way and so are you. That crop top symbolizes you ripping apart the standards society has set for how people of different body shapes are supposed to dress. A crop top is a piece of clothing and everyone is entitled to wear any piece of clothing they want, regardless of how much the scale shows you. It’s your right to be able to express yourself, and if that boho looking crop top expresses you, then wear it and rock it like no one else has.
Crop tops might not be able to reach the message to everyone, so I’ll make it clear. No matter what gender, age, weight, personality, or physique, you are allowed to be happy. You were not born with a declaration that you have to be miserable at all times. Your unhappiness is not deserved. You are not to blame for the things that are causing the tears to sting your eyes. Look in the mirror and smile. Notice how you’re eyes perhaps twinkle, despite the dim light of your bathroom. That smile is not a sin. I don’t have too much acne. That’s what makes me…me. I don’t look too ugly. I look just fine.
I hate it when people say they want to find happiness. It creates this irrational, never ending, search for something or someone to make you happy. An insatiable desire to find the fountain of happiness. This dangerous journey leads to longing, and dissatisfaction. A total reassessment of whether you’ll ever be happy. You’ll never find happy.
You have to make it.
The way I see it, happiness is like snow. To most, snow is cold, wet, uncomfortable, and irritating. You can complain and whine for the snow to go away, or you can go outside and make the best use of it. You can build a snowman, or have a snowball fight. Or you can just run around in a fresh layer of snow that does not have a single mark on it. The point is, you can’t make the snow go away and the sun shine. What you can do, is use the snow to have fun. That’s how happiness works.
I am by no means saying all of this is as easy as it seems. No. Reading and doing are different things. It will take some time, but I promise you’ll get there. You’ll get to the point where you can make happy instead of trying to search for it. Find a way that works best for you. Reading, or dancing, or running, or talking. Personally, I write and sing.
Loving yourself, inside and out, is not a crime. It’s okay to look in the mirror and say you look amazing. Self-appreciation is imperative in making happy. I look too good; no matter what people say. I am too nice. I am too quiet, and that’s okay. My smile is too important to let other’s ruin it.
I am not too pointless.
I matter too.