It’s quarter to seven o’clock on a Monday morning, and I’m trying to find some type of necklace or pair of earrings that will add a little “oomph” to my drab and well-worn school uniform. I still have yet to do my hair, which is beginning to look like it’s been zapped by lightning due to the lack of moisture in the air. On top of all that, I look in the mirror, only to wish that I had taken the time to apply make-up.

I’ve spent so much time mulling over this stuff that within what feels like a minute, my brother announces that it’s time to leave for school. And with that, I walk out the door with one thought repeating itself in my mind:

I look like crap, which is making me feel like crap. Ugh, I don’t think today is gonna be all that good of a day.

It seems like today people have become so used to a culture that depends on lovers, friends, possesions etc. to feel good about themselves. I’ve seen girls as young as eleven walk around with what literally looks like a pound (or more) of make-up on their faces. I once went to school with someone who throughout the day, would apply and reapply cover-up/foundation to hide her acne (in reality, it only make things worse because you could literally see how much of it she put on).

I myself have battled confidence and self-esteem issues since I was a toddler. On our way to a football game a couple of months back, I did actually ask my mom “Do you really think I’m pretty, or are you just saying that because I’m your daughter?” In my early teen years, I allowed what people said about me influence, and almost dictate what I could and couldn’t do. I felt like I wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone, almost to the point where I viewed myself as a worthless piece of existence.

The previous year was probably when I was at my lowest point; not because of gossip or anything of that nature, but because of what I would tell myself. Long story short, there was a guy that I had taken a keen interest in, and he was one of those that a vast number of girls gravitated to/were interested in as well. I was always comparing myself to them; how they acted, what they looked like, etc. I became so unsure of myself that I even compared myself to my closest friends! (Reason being not because of him, but because of their personality and attitude. They were almost what I wanted to be and I didn’t know how to do that.) When it all came down to it, I lost myself for a little while.

I think I needed that sort of thing to get where I am currently. Over the summer I realized how tired I was of always feeling inferior, always allowing my fears and insecurities to hold me back. From that I coined the saying, “It’s one thing to have insecurities, but it’s another to let them get the best of you.”

The guy and I didn’t talk or text very much over the summer, and it made me examine certain aspects. My feelings for him were no longer bringing me joy, but flat-out just bringing me down. Over the course of the last couple of months, I felt the need to step away from the world of guys and relationships and just focus on myself and appreciate what I have. Also, I’m at a point where I want a guy to be the one to ask me out on a date, to be one one to pursue me.

And for me personally, I know that who I was at that time really isn’t who I am at all. I want my friends and family to be able to see who I really am, to see more of my strengths then my weaknesses.

Ist it easy? HELL NO!! It’s actually a day-by-day process. I didn’t just wake up one morning and vow that I would always believe in myself, that I would always be happy. I have to work at it every single day. Alot if not most times, I have to pray and ask God to be with me because I simply can’t do it on my own. When I’m doing certain things like driving or taking some type of test, I have to tell myself repeatedly that I’m able to do it; I have to envision myself accomplishing that task.

It doesn’t always happen, and that goes for every human being on this earth. There are days where I feel down, where I’m more of a scaredy-cat then a go-getter. I think everyone is allowed to feel bad every once in awhile, you just can’t wallow in it. When that happens, I remind myself that everyone deals with this stuff, and that I’m the only one stopping myself from being who I want to be and going after what I want.

Of course, there is being too confident; meaning you say it more than you actually live it out. And you’re not humble. Have I been through that? Yes.

Everything I’ve been through to get from there to here has been painful and frustrating, but nevertheless eye-opening. My journey does not end here; I’m sure there will be plenty more times in the future where I will fall, but will eventually get back up and keep going.

There’s an old saying about how confidence is key. Way back when, and even not too long ago, I didn’t understand that. Now that I’ve begun to apply to to my life, I feel like I really do.

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