By Chaviva Freedman
Despite what you hear, you’re right to believe that living in your twenties is the hardest point in your life. There’s always this pressure to be “on point” – in what we say, how we look, what lifestyle we choose to live by. Attempting to live up to these standards can be essential as to why you’re not feeling happy right now.
Here’s the thing though: you are good enough. You might not be dating the hot guy on campus – in fact, you might not be dating anyone. You might not be in the “cool clique” that everyone wants to desperately be a part of. You might not have all the likes on Instagram or Facebook. You might not even have all the Twitter followers you strive to achieve. When you look past the selfies, the #mancrushmonday or #womancrushwednesday hashtags, the cute best friend pictures that make you sit back and feel like you’re not on their level, those couple pictures that make you want to throw up while simultaneously making you jealous – it’s all just a bunch of filters, guaranteed to make the person look good and make you feel inadequate.
Those pictures I just talked about? They don’t show what’s really going on. Each person goes through their own life frustrations. As soon as the camera takes the photo, the smiles go away. The arms unlink. There are genuine relationships, laughs and friendships – but that’s not shown. All you see is what is being posted on social media, giving you the false impression that you aren’t good enough.
You might think: what makes me different? Why don’t I have all of this? Why me? There’s nothing wrong with you. You might not party every weekend. You might have not found the man (or woman) of your dreams yet. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that you choose to sit and binge watch your favorite show on Netflix when everyone else is out on the town. There’s nothing wrong with waking up in the morning and going to school in your pajamas because you don’t feel like dressing up for the day. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that you don’t always go on adventures with your friends, leading to those Instagram-worthy pictures.
We all live with this idea that we need to be perfect. But what comes with perfection is artificiality. It’s all a lie. You know what’s real? Your bad morning breath. Your stretch marks and body rolls. Those are real. Your favorite flavor of coffee. Your love of Italian food. That’s real too. Your favorite guilty pleasure television show. Your favorite movie. Real. Your inability to understand math or science. Your love for the smell of rain and dancing in the puddles. Guess what? Real, real, real! As it’s said in the movie Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure: “what’s so bad about being different?” (Yes – not only did I just quote from a children’s movie, but from a Christmas movie no less. So what? I love it!)
When I say that you’re worth it, believe it yourself. Not because Instagram, Facebook, or even your mom says so. Because you say so. Every blemish, pimple or hair is there for a reason. You’re worth it because you believe it.
Take away the idea that being fake is the way to go. Take away the friends that don’t support you, and the ones that you don’t support. Take away the boy or girl who doesn’t give you the butterflies (and by that, I mean the good kind) or the feeling that you’re the only girl that exists in his or her world. It will help you find your true self and make you realize you’re worth it.
So spend those nights at home. Skip the date. Laugh at yourself. Wear no makeup. Take off the clothes that don’t give you confidence. Be you. Discover who you are because the only person that can be you is you. Never forget that, and you will become the woman that you not only desire to be, but you’ll learn to love yourself in the process.
With all my love,
The woman who is learning to love herself