I thought I was worthless and I didn’t even know it.
Now when I look back, it makes sense why I felt worthless.
As a child, I was outcasted by friends, in the 5th grade, for being different. I was an oddball. I wore big Harry Potter glasses as they called them. I didn’t wear the cutest clothes and I liked chickens. I didn’t speak Spanish and I was from a country that was labeled as terrorists. When I think of those memories, it still stings and I am on the cusp of being thirty. I remember feeling alone, ugly, and embarrassed about who I was. I was ashamed of who I was because my peers didn’t like me.
As an adult, I felt those feelings strongly too but I never realized that it stemmed back to my elementary days because my school life got better as I got older. I was still an oddball but I made friends. I was told I laugh weird which I do and that’s okay.
I come from a culture where girls are told that their purpose was to get married and cater to their husbands and in-laws. It feels like women always have someone to cater to whether it is their family or their husband’s family or their children. Having an identity of their own is not common. Your worth is based on how obedient you are and when you try to cross the line just a little, you are shunned. This is such a normal aspect of life for women and I don’t think it’s just Afghani women.
In my household, I grew up with four brothers and a lot of male cousins. My sister and I were the only girls. I was a complete tomboy. I loved animals, and I still do. I liked to bike ride and play video games. I liked to play cars and cops and robbers. I was never into Barbies or tea parties. I was gifted a Barbie once and I didn’t know what to do with it. My favorite game was tag and I still find it fun. I wish I could play tag still.
As an adult, I kept my families’ culture in mind in every aspect of my life. I have let it control my decisions and my overall being. Sometimes I didn’t even realize it.
In all of my adult relationships like friendships and coworkers, I have struggled with feeling accepted or appreciated it. I wanted so badly to be liked and understood. I wanted so badly to feel the love that I was giving was being reciprocated. It bruised my soul and I never understood why it bothered me so much to fit in and to be loved. I wanted to be important to those I cared for because they were so important to me. It was more than that though. The pain was too much the last couple of years and my brain would spiral. I felt insecure and I felt like I was going to lose what I had worked so hard to have. My therapist urged me to share my feelings but I didn’t want to come off as controlling, possessive or jealous. It was not my intention but I knew that’s how my feelings would be taken. I am aware that I am not perfect and no one is. I took time to reflect on myself. I distanced myself and just spent time alone. I needed to heal because I felt so hurt from so many failed attempts to try to be understood. Sometimes I felt like even when I tried to do what I thought was right, it still just hit me in the face. I tried so hard to voice my opinions to my family which I have no problem doing but it did nothing. It was the same cycle over and over again. I was exhausted. I was so tired of explaining myself and always being misunderstood. I am not a bad person and I don’t know why humans always go towards negativity when there is also positivity. I started to question myself and who I am. Maybe they are right and I am a bad person?
It was a dark time for me, but I think distance helped bring clarity. Silencing myself and stepping back helped. Trying my best to let go of the anger and disappointment helped. Also, understanding what I need became important. Hours spent in therapy helped too. Just having someone listen to me and help me understand my emotions were great. Sometimes I don’t even understand my own feelings and why something bothers me.
In time, I learned that I can’t change others but I can change myself. It took me forever to grasp that concept. No matter how many times I tell my coworker that I have no issues with her, she will still believe what she wants. I have to accept that and do what’s best for me. No matter how many times I tell my family that we should be kinder to each other and stop tearing each other down, it won’t make a difference. No matter how many times I express to my friends that my intentions were never to be controlling..it won’t make a difference.
It’s like in the film industry when I was told to be aggressive but then I was told but don’t be annoying. How do I know which I am being? It’s all perspective. Some folks loved my persists and others shunned me for it. The film industry did all kinds of things to my confidence. It made me feel even more worthless. It stings till this day that I was not good enough.
I have accepted this. I can’t change anyone’s mind. All I can do is take care of myself and follow my morals and values so at the end of the day I have peace with myself.
One word kept circling my mind, value.
I value myself. I value who I am. I think I am an exceptional human being. My parents should be proud that I am their daughter. The one thing I know %130 is that I am a good person. I value relationships and the things I have in my life. I value humans. I value my jobs even though I have really rough and long days. I value animals and plants. I value life. I value me.
I struggle every day to love myself. I struggle with confidence every single day. I struggle with my self-worth every single day. It is so incredibly difficult. One second an outfit makes me feel so incredibly stunning but an hour later I feel huge in it and incredibly ugly.
I continue to work on myself every single day. I try to think before I speak instead of just saying whatever is on my mind. I try to build my confidence. I try to find things that make me feel good.
After so long, I can see a little brightness in a dark sky, Honestly, I have only touched the surface of this part of me. I was part of a career that made me feel worthless constantly. This spider web is huge but spider webs can be dusted away in an instant.
I feel lighter overall because I am making more thoughtful choices for myself.
I am not afraid of being alone. I am not afraid of people walking out of my life anymore. In the end, I will be okay.
I have my moments though where I just feel downright worthless but I don’t let it control me.
More than anything, I am so tired of feeling sad and hurt. I am tired of feeling sorry for myself. I prefer doing things alone instead of with people who don’t want to be around me. I am okay with that. It’s actually pretty nice to spend time with me. It is so much less pressure.
This year I am turning thirty. I want to challenge myself because when I accomplish something challenging or scary, my confidence is boosted. Deep down inside, I know I am a resilient chick who is worth everything.
This past week, I took a dip inside of a pool full of extremely cold water. I have never done that before and never thought I would. It was amazing! I know it sounds simple but it was a lot for me.
I want to challenge myself. I want to push myself to my fullest potential because life is a privilege. I want to try new things which I already started to do this month! Now less talk, more doing for me. I have to hold myself accountable.
I just want to live. Here. Right now.
Cheers to me, Cheers to you, Cheers to us.