Going off the idea of my last post, I wanted to keep the ball rolling with how people help us realize things about ourselves.
You wouldn’t believe me, well maybe you would considering my signature selfie these days is pouting, mouth closed (yea, idk, makes me feel fierce, just go with it)—BUT, up until my freshman year of college and a boy that became my best friend and other half, I n e v e r smiled with my teeth. Ever.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am one of the most analytical, hyper-self-critical people on the face of the Earth. So when it came to smiling, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of letting my teeth peek through because all I could see were flaws. I could see the barely noticeable line that divides my front tooth from enamel to crown (because I made my sister mad when I was little and she “accidentally” broke it so I looked like a vampire (I even had to go to school one day like that and people called me Spiker Vampira (I kid you not…) and then I was a real genius chewing on my Game Boy strap and off it broke again) or how my wisdom teeth j u s t h a d to come in and ruin my parade of pearly whites (it’s really kind of ironic considering I ALWAYS wanted braces but I never needed them until I was 18 when my wisdom teeth crowded my lower incisors and canines). Anyways, the aforementioned boy couldn’t understand it (and so many of my other seemingly nonsensical insecurities—like singing in the car, which he also quickly forced me out of). So, on a daily basis, whenever pictures were being snapped, he wouldn’t take them unless I smiled what he considered a “real” smile because he said he loved my toothy grin and I shouldn’t close it off from the world.
Since then, a lot of people have said the first thing they notice is my smile which has led me to begin to realize there’s beauty in a lot of the things we judge so easily about ourselves. We get one bad reaction or interaction with some social media troll and it’s easy to become self-conscious. It’s easy to pick ourselves apart. Shall we talk appearance? My hands are as big or bigger than just about any guy that I’ve ever dated, my feet are really like small ships ready to help me set sail (size ten, r e p r e s e n t), the only jugs I have are filled with sangria sitting in my fridge and my favorite expression has now begun to create wrinkles over my left eyebrow (come on, I’m only 23—n o t fair). What about personality? I can be anxious as hell. I talk way too much and when you don’t talk back I just ramble because it makes me think you don’t understand so I keep trying until you do when in reality you’re off thinking about tacos and catching The Riddler. I’m extremely emotionally charged. And, oh boy am I stubborn. The littlest things bring the biggest smile to my face, but likewise, the littlest things can set me off.
My point is, we’re all made up of things that we might internally judge ourselves on, and hell, other people might too. But I’ve finally begun to realize that there’s something so wonderful in all of these things because, paired with the things we love about ourselves, they make us into the people that we are and we shouldn’t be ashamed of that. Rather, by owning them and overcoming the idiosyncrasies that we aren’t too proud of, we get one step closer to being exactly who we want to be. And we should be eternally thankful to the people who help us realize that, but more so, we should learn to know it on our own.