A little start of the week positivity! Today let's build up our sense of self-worth, self-love, and self-image plus do a mental health self check-in together. I gave up 4 things during quarantine to be able to heal and regain these positive feelings of self.
1. Applying heat to my hair or rather being ashamed of what I was born with.
Hot tools: curling iron, blow dryers, straightener? Who are they? I was always adding heat to my hair because since middle school I grew up thinking that I didn't have a nice hair texture and that my hair looked "better" straightened or styled somehow. Those were the only times that I would get complimented on my hair if I "fixed it." It always seemed so frizzy and my hair was neither straight nor really curly. I felt as if to hair product companies, my hair type would be considered "unattractive." You'd hear slogans like "say bye-bye to frizz" and also were aware of hair treatments like hair rebonding back in the day to chemically straighten your hair because it was seen as "sleeker," "more professional" or "classy." But now that I’m letting my hair rest during quarantine, it’s gotten so much longer in only a little over a month's time. This was growth that I typically wouldn’t have seen in even a year's time when I was applying heat to my hair multiple times a week. I’ve learned to embrace my hair’s natural waves instead of trying to hide them and am enjoying the length so much! I’d like to find out if using a natural shampoo would bring out my hair’s waves even more and to speed up the growth process further! In conclusion, forget what society or anybody else for that matter deems as "beautiful" and if you feel better natural, then you should be able to wear your hair how you like it.
2. Putting foundation on my face or rather hiding my imperfections.
I hated my acne, my acne scars, my face redness, and how oily my skin was---whew, sounds like lots of self-hatred there, but it stems from other people (whose opinions shouldn’t have mattered, but nonetheless didn't feel good to hear) always feeling the need to point out one's flaws. I’m learning to love my natural self more during this pandemic. Foundation was a way to cover it all up. I’ve had distinct periods of my life where my acne got to be what I considered "pretty bad." It also never helped when I had classmates or the filipino aunties at work pointing out the fact that I have so many pimples now and "what happened?" No need to point them out, I have seen them and am living with these pimples guys!! -___-. But because of the mask situation, which would just wipe off the foundation and hide my acne anyways, I stopped using foundation. And consequently, allowing my skin to just breathe from the makeup had helped it heal tremendously. I can see my skin healing more and more each month (:
3. Having to have lashes on or rather feeding my insecurities.
I have not had the best experiences with lash extensions, but have always been a falsies kinda gal (thanks to my girl at ohhoneylashes.com for always hooking me up with cruelty-free lashes). However, I felt naked without false eyelashes when hanging out with friends and certainly didn’t think I looked nice in pictures without them. Never would I ever post a photo on IG without lashes on in the past! Maybe just being by myself more this quarantine has gotten me more used to my own face bwahaha. Now I see my reflection in the bathroom mirror like, oh hey, you short eyelash, cute thang, you!! LOL! The fact of the matter is that I feel perfectly fine with or without falsies and it used to be such a big insecurity of mine.
4. Scrolling aimlessly on social media or rather losing my sense of self.
In my own journey as I am still trying to develop both my career and personal goals along with other endeavors, it was hard not to be side tracked on Instagram and feel like I needed to keep up with the Joneses. The saying is true, that comparison is the thief of joy. I found myself trying to keep up---keeping up with the latest trends and seeing someone's life that I wished to be like instead of figuring out what it is that I like and wondering if I am so easily influenced to have things that I don’t necessarily need? I found myself often getting caught up on the gram, seeing other people’s photos and stories and thinking I’d love to have what they have. Was I getting further away from cultivating the true life that I desired and not just the picturesque perfect bits of someone else’s life on social media? And not to mention Instagram has been real dark this 2020. I found myself feeling helpless amongst so many bad situations in the world and it was hard to come to terms with not being able to help with every single world issue. I was wearing myself thin and I needed to take a break from it all and just sit with myself. Figuring out what my issues were and then addressing them with another person allowed me to put into words, okay, what are my new goals (yes, they can change), compartmentalizing what it takes to get there, and to understand that I won't have everything figured out in a day. But along the way, I can figure myself out more. I was also given the advice that if there are world issues that I care about, I can try to narrow things down to what I am most passionate about to prevent myself from mental exhaustion.
I had been juggling so many different thoughts, ideas, concerns, and questioning my purpose again (is it possible to have a quarter century crisis twice?). And yet, I was spending too much time scrolling and less time actually planning. I’m not quite sure when I’ll be back on Insta, but when I do, I definitely would like to set a healthy boundary for how long I’d like to even be on the app a day. Social media is what you make of it, but for me at the moment it was doing more harm than good. For now, I’m enjoying this little reset and break. It’s been great living in the moment, not having to document and share every detail of my life on socials, not having to keep up with everyone else, but just focusing on my writing and working on me...all of which has been making me happier than not :)
I’ve got a ways to go (self-growth and change really never stop do they?), but I think this quarantine I am a little more at peace with myself regardless of whether others validate me or not, accepting what I am, but knowing that I am capable of even more, and learning to let go of wanting to change due to the criticism of others or comparing myself to other people’s unique journeys.
For all of you lovely folks at home who may be struggling with something deeper such as self-image, self-worth, and just fighting to be your true self, here’s a little check-in to try:
To end today's blog post, I'd like you to think about something that you love and embrace about yourself, and wouldn’t change for the world! Remind yourself of it. You are uniquely you and deserve your own love too (:
Wishing you all some self-love and mental clarity.
Judi Bloom 💜
in referring to abusive power play in today's check-in:
Schreiner, Michael. People Who Constantly Point Out Deficiencies in Others. 30 March 2017. https://evolutioncounseling.com/people-who-constantly-point-out-deficiencies-in-others/