I’m clumsy, I’m awkward, I stutter, and most of the time, I’m a hot mess. I’m loud, I’m messy, and sometimes I’m lazy. I don’t wake up looking like a supermodel…actually, I don’t think all the makeup, or hair stylists in the world could make me look like a supermodel. I get emotional, and sometimes I cry. I make mistakes, and as much as I like to think I have it all together, sometimes I don’t. I don’t know everything, and sometimes I’m insecure. But that’s okay. Because I’m human. And people aren’t perfect, nor am I trying to be. Sure, there are some things I need to work on, but most of it, I can’t change, it’s just me and a part of who I am. And that’s okay. And if I’m not good enough for you, then don’t even bother talking to me. Because I don’t change myself to fit ANYONE’S standards. And that’s final.
As I stated a few times before on this blog, I am very proud of who I am as a person. I so strive to be the best me possible, so there are a lot of things I do take pride in when it comes to my personality.
- The first one being that I do think I’m a very genuine, kind person. I’m extremely real and I don’t say or do things that I don’t mean. I genuinely do care a lot about people, especially those closest to me, and I’d do anything for them. I don’t judge or discriminate anyone for anything, and I treat all people with respect. I would never put someone else down, to talk badly about them…no matter if it’s done for comedic value or not…I think talking badly about people is one of the lowest things you could do as a person.
- I’m proud that I don’t let other’s opinions about affect me at all. I feel very lucky that I’ve established that sort of mindset at such an early age, so I never really had to deal with others making me feel badly about myself. I was bullied pretty badly when I was younger, and still, I get people who try to put me down and say mean things about me, but it’s never once bothered me. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud that I’ve never had to worry about people’s thoughts and opinions of me affecting me negatively. I’ve never had to worry about struggling to impress people. And I’m proud that I’m not afraid to be my real and true self, regardless of what anyone thinks. I’ve had some really awful things said about me, and to me, and it could have easily went in the other direction and absolutely destroyed me mentally…it could have scared me and made me super insecure, but it didn’t. It only taught me that what others say or think about you doesn’t define you and it doesn’t matter because they aren’t you. And I’m proud of that.
- I’m proud that I’m determined. I don’t give up in life, or take the easy way out. I just stick with it and do whatever it takes. Life has been anything but easy for me…from my health issues, family issues, mindsets, school, and just typical life trials and tribulations…it’s been extremely hard, and yeah, I’ve had extremely low points. But I’m the type of person that sticks with something until the end and I don’t give up until I achieve what I want. Even when it comes to my health…I am a survivor, and I take so much pride in that. With high school, my health caused me to miss TONS of school…but I still managed to graduate on time and maintain a “B,” average despite the odds and I’m proud of that. It’s taken me four years to complete a two year degree in college, and although it took me twice as long, due to my horrendous math skills, I still stuck with it, and never gave up, and finally managed to finish my degree. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud that even through the dark times and hard times in my life, I’m able to recognize what’s wrong and fix and improve myself.I’m determined to fix whatever issue it is that I have and I keep working at it…no matter how hard it may be. Because improving myself is super important to me. And I’m proud of that because you’d be surprised how many people actually don’t even realize their issues that they need to fix with themselves, let alone have the determination and ambition to actually stick with it and fix the issue. And I feel so blessed and thankful that I do.
I touched a bit on this on day 15’s post. I changed a LOT in the past two years…probably the most I’ve ever changed in my life. The past two years were definitely big transformation years for me. Looking back two years ago, I was a lot more unhappy, and a lot less confident. I was ready to start making a change in my life, but I hadn’t really started anything significant yet. I guess two years ago was really the start of it all. I was tired of living in the past and dwelling on things that happened years ago in high school. I wasn’t happy with my current state in life so I dwelled on a time I remember being happy…and that was in high school, instead of dealing with the issue and working to make myself happier.
I finally started to see the light and removed all the toxic people from my life. Yeah, I had to go friendless for a while, but that’s okay because once the new semester started at school I made an effort to meet new people and ended up making some amazing new friends. I also finally started to come to terms with the things that made me unhappy in the past. I finally stopped pushing them back and admitted them to myself so that I was able to start moving forward. I guess I just had a lot of emotional baggage and bad mindset habits that I was finally making an effort to change. I stopped attaching myself in inanimate things that connected me to my past and learned to live in the present and take each day as it comes. I even dyed my hair dark after being blonde my entire life…and that was a HUGE step for me in learning to accept and embrace change. Because of learning to embrace change, I’m a lot more confident and comfortable with myself. I started trying to become the absolute best person I could be, and that including kicking some bad mental habits. It wasn’t easy, and yeah, it made me uncomfortable at first, but it was worth it and in the end, it made me a more confident, happier, and overall better person.
I’m not saying that I’m done…there’s still things in my life that I need to change and fix, and there always will be, but now I recognize that, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make myself the best person I can be, no matter how scary it is. I’m SO proud of the changes I’ve made in the past two years and I can’t wait to see how much I’ll learn, change, and grow up in the next two years! :))
So I made a post regarding body image a couple months ago here, but I kind of wanted to touch on it again, in a different way. My body image is kind of something I’ve always struggled with. Despite my confidence, my body has always been my biggest insecurity. Because of my scoliosis, and physical disabilities, my body has never looked “normal,” so to speak, and I’ve never been pleased with the way that it looks. I never let it get me down or bother me, but I am human…of course I compare myself to other girls. If I see a girl, or celebrity who I think is really pretty, or who has a great body, yeah, my insecurities kick in and I think “ugh. Why can’t I look like her?!”
Yes, I’d love a body and curves like Jennifer Lawrence, and yes, I want perfect teeth, and boobs, and a nice butt. I don’t like being a stick, and having no curves. I don’t like being disproportionate, or having my shoulder blade stick out and having a curved back. And yes, I feel like I have the body of a prepubescent ten year old boy, and I wish I had a more womanly figure. But you know what? I can’t change any of that. I can’t change the shell God gave me, because he made me like this for a reason. And I’m okay with that. I’m 100% totally okay with that. Because this body I was born with…it doesn’t matter. It’s just a shell. It says nothing about who I am as a person. It says nothing about my character. It’s just a shell. It means nothing. Why should it matter what my body looks like, or what physical traits I have? It really shouldn’t.
And anyone who judges me because of that, or thinks that I’m not good enough because of the way I look? Well screw them because I love the person I am. I love who I am. And I’m proud of the body I have, and even though at times I feel insecure about it, I accept that this is the body God gave me and I’m gonna rock it the best I can. I may not be “the total package,” or a “bombshell.” I may not be a Jennifer Lawrence, or Hayden Panettiere, or a Mila Kunis, or a Victoria’s Secret model…but that’s okay because I’m Jenn Wray…the only Jenn Wray, and I’m awesome. I should embrace that. And I do embrace that. I like that my body tells a story. It’s a reminder of everything I went through. It reminds me that I’m a survivor and that I beat the odds. And that’s amazing. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Like I said, my body is merely a shell…the only important part of myself is my spirit, my soul, and my being…everything that lies underneath. It’s normal to want to look your best, and to want to be attractive. And it’s okay to feel that way. It’s okay to feel self conscious sometimes. As long as you always remember that it’s silly to waste you time wishing you looked a certain way, and wishing you could change things that you can’t. At the end of the day, always remember that being attractive and your physical appearance is the most irrelevant thing on this earth. It’s your soul and who you are as a person that matter the most. And the ones in your life that matter the most will see you for who you truly are. It won’t matter if you have that perfect body, or that perfect face, or that perfect smile. A beautiful person on the inside really does translate into a beautiful person on the outside.
Sometimes I have to remind myself of this. My confidence comes from being proud of my body regardless, and not caring what anyone else says, because it’s my body, not theirs. I don’t live to please them and they have no right to judge me. If they can’t accept the real me, I don’t want them in my life. My confidence comes from knowing I’m a good, moral person and being proud of that. I’m not a perfect person by any means, but I try to be the best person I can be, and I accept and recognize my flaws and mistakes, and I let them help make me a better person and improve myself. Confidence is the most attractive thing you can wear…not some “sexy” body that society tells us that we have to look like. Don’t let this physical shell define you. It’s not who you are. It means nothing. Who you are behind the shell…that’s the ONLY thing that matters, and the people who love you most and truly care about you, will see that.
It’s funny how things that happen in our past and childhood can condition the way we think, or how we act, even into adulthood. It’s crazy that even as a 22 year old college student, the things I experienced in elementary and middle school still affect my mindset today. Growing up as a child, I didn’t have tons of friends. I was bullied pretty badly, and although it’s been 10+ years since I went through that, I still am kind of weird about meeting new people. I’m not shy in the least bit, and I love meeting people, but, when it comes to initiating a friendship, in the back of my mind I still find myself thinking “what if this person doesn’t want to be my friend and is only being nice to me because they don’t want to be rude?” “What if I annoy this person?” “What if asking this person to hangout is overstepping my boundaries?”
Now, I’m much better than I used to be, and I really don’t have that problem anymore. I’m much more confident than I was in high school and even my first couple years of college…and I don’t really have a problem with initiating friendships. BUT, now, the main issue lies in once I’ve already established a friendship with someone. See, I’m notorious for having pretty crappy friends…there’s only a VERY select few people I’ve ever had in my life that I would actually consider a good, and real friend. Hence, why I’m so guarded now. In my past, some of these “friends” I’ve had would actually be extremely mean to me, talk to me like crap, use me, and really hurt my feelings. I remember friends telling me to stop asking them to hang out, or to stop calling them because I was “clingy” for wanting to hangout with them and that they “had enough of me,” and I was “annoying.” Mind you, this was coming from the person I considered my best friend. Since then, I’m always worried about coming across as annoying to my friends. I never want to lose a friendship because they thought I was annoying to too clingy again because it really does feel awful.
You see, because of events from my childhood, I always have this fear that the people I’m close to always mean more to me, than I do to them. It it’s pretty humiliating once you find out that you obviously didn’t mean as much to them as they did to you. So in order for that not to happen, I have a tendency to pretend like I don’t care about the people in my life as much as I really do. I get awkward and I don’t tend to let them know how much they truly mean to me. I back off and become passive and let them take the initiative to talk to me, hangout with me, etc. because I have this idiotic mindset that if they wanted to see me or talk to me, they would. And I do this with everyone. Even the people closest to me, who I know actually really do care about me a lot. It still scares me that they mean more to me. I don’t want to ever overstep my boundaries with someone, so I guess I just understep them, if that makes sense. And that’s bad. Really bad. Because eventually my friends are going to think I don’t care about them, or that they care more about me than I do them, when that’s actually not the case at all. And then they’ll either getting up hurt, like my childhood friends hurt me, or they’ll just get tired of being friends with someone they think doesn’t care and just remove themselves from my life. And I don’t want that. And it’s weird…the closer I am with someone, the worse I am, and the more I try to pretend I don’t care.
I guess maybe I’m just a little scared of being unguarded and growing close to someone. And I wish I wasn’t. See what I’ve done here? I’ve created such a mess. And I need to stop. I need to forget about my childhood and not let the bad people in my life back then affect the way I think today. Because I’m DEFINITELY not the same person I was back then. At all. I’m a million times more confident, mature, and happy and I need to change that stupid, stupid mindset. And I’m trying to. I’m working on it. And I’m trying to make an effort, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me at first. And I do see myself improving. I’ll get there.
Despite the fact I consider myself a confident person, and that I’ve never cared about what people think of me, I’ve always struggled with body image issues. They come and go, and some days are better than others, but it’s always been something that’s bothered me. Because I was born with pretty severe scoliosis, my body has never exactly been the most “normal” looking, so to speak. My torso is super short, making me super short; I’m disproportionate; and it’s kind of “deformed” looking. Not to mention I’m super thin and I have no curves, and yeah, I feel like a little girl. There’s nothing “womanly” about my body and I feel like I’m an almost 22 year old woman, trapped inside the body of a nine year old little girl. And I hate that. I still think highly of myself, and I still love myself, and I still have many other things about myself that I’m super secure and confident in, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have insecurities, too.
A while back, I posted about possibly getting another back surgery to possibly fix my scoliosis and straighten out my back further, making it more proportional, me taller, and maybe giving me some sort of figure. I started my research and started looking for doctors who could do the surgery and who had high success rates. But the surgery would be a VERY risky one, and I started thinking…is it really worth going through all that, and worth the possible risk of paralyzation just to look better? Is this really any different than plastic surgery? I mean, my scoliosis really causes no medial threats, and I don’t suffer from any pain…so really, in my mind, it was no different that plastic surgery. Why put myself through all of that just to look better? It’s kind of silly, really. I’ve ever been an advocate for plastic surgery, and although technically this wouldn’t be plastic surgery, in my case, it would be done for cosmetic only purposes and I didn’t feel okay about that.
Why can’t I just accept myself for the way I am? I’ve lived my life happily for almost 22 years like this…and this is who I am. This is me. I don’t need surgery to feel better about myself. I don’t need to put myself through pain and a huge risk just to simply feel attractive. It’s stupid. This is me, and this is who I am, and I need to embrace that. Everyone has insecurities and everyone struggles with body image, but you shouldn’t change what you’re born with because it’s obviously that way for a reason. Am I saying that I suddenly love my body? No, because honestly, I don’t. But I accept it and I’m going to embrace it because this is who I am, and I should be proud of that.
I’m happy with myself and I love who I am. I’ve been going through a tough time lately, stuck in a rut, sad, stressed, and having a bit of an identity crisis. I’m not gonna lie, I’m still in a rut, I’m still not happy with my current state of life, or mindset, and there’s still a bunch of thoughts that I need to sort out and figure out. But one thing I’m not is unhappy with myself. I’m still me. I’m still Jenn…at heart, I’m still the same person. And I damn proud of that person.
I know I’m a kind, genuine, smart, funny, giving, loving, refined, talented, and accepting person. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being able to admit that. Yes, I’m humble..I don’t walk around with my nose in the air, bragging about these things. I may even be surprised if I were to get a compliment on these things. But I am proud of these things, and I recognize these are some of the best traits about myself. I’ll sacrifice myself or something in my life just to help someone because I want to. I genuinely care about other people, sometimes more than I should. I’m a damn good friend and will literally do anything for those closest to me. I have my head on straight…I have high morals and values and I stick to them and stay true to myself. I have big goals and dreams, and I’m trying my best to help myself achieve those goals. I have a great sense of humor and, yeah, I think I’m funny. I’m different, and weird and I think that’s a GREAT thing. I’d never judge another person because I know how it feels and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. I’m a writer, graphic designer, and I have a love for all things creative. I’m also pretty damn good with computers and techy/geeky stuff. And you know what? Yes, I love these things about myself and I’ll hold my head high and wear a smile on my face, even if I’m having the crappiest of days because I love and respect myself and I want the world to know that.
I will NEVER let anyone else, or anything else take away my self confidence. I will never let anything negatively influence me. I trust myself enough to know when I’m right and when I’m wrong, and if I know in my heart I’m right, I will stand up for myself because I owe it to myself. Will I still be kind and respectful? Absolutely. Always. But I’m not a doormat, either. And if I know I’m wrong? Then I’ll be the first to admit it, and apologize to anyone I’ve hurt. I’ve always known all this stuff about myself, but it took me awhile to be able to openly say “hey, this is me, this is who I am, and this is what makes me awesome.” I was always scared of coming across as arrogant, or stuck up…but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing what makes you awesome, and different from the world and being proud of that.You should be proud of who you are and find at least something to love about yourself. My confidence never left me like I thought it did…I simply just forgot what makes me awesome, and what makes me Jenn. I love myself and no one or nothing could ever change that. You should love yourself, too. There’s always something to love about yourself and be proud of. So find it, and then embrace it.