I Would Tell My Middle School Self that She is Capable

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Meet Amanda

Will drop everything for some tacos and sushi. Been a four eye since ‘05. Enjoys hanging out with her kitten and husky. Wakes up every morning with unmanageable wavy hair.

I would tell my middle school self that she is capable

I have always looked at others as greater than I am. I would see someone and think, 

“Wow, she’s so much more beautiful than me.”

“That person is so much smarter than me.” 

“This person is more loved or cared for than what I’ll ever receive.” 

These thoughts caused me to view myself as so insignificant.

This way of thinking started to worsen in high school as I compared myself to every single person I met. It drove me to constantly wallow in my own sadness since I told myself that I was not good enough for anything and that I don’t fit in because I don’t have the conventional beauty standards. These thoughts progressed with me throughout college where I would sit in a class full of intelligent people and ask myself if I belonged. It affected the way I studied and caused me to not approach any opportunities for my career, education, and potential friendships. These lies harmed my mental health immensely not only because I was sad and crying in silence all the time, but also because I felt like I couldn’t turn to anybody since no one could possibly understand or listen. 

The beginning of my healing took a turn during quarantine. I was exhausted from putting myself down. I was done with feeling insufficient. I was tired of tears. I wanted to start over. 

This change started with me – I began to take initiative to change things within me.

Since I wasn’t constantly surrounded by other people in quarantine,I had time to work on myself and do things for me. I invested more time in my old hobbies that I had previously given up on like playing the piano, gardening, and learning languages. The small improvements I would experience on a daily basis allowed me to see growth in my potential. My fingers on the piano began to move more gracefully and my plants were looking healthier and growing so well.

Amanda’s sunflower seedlings

I, like a seed, looked incapable of doing anything but can grow into something so beautiful. Self-determination (sun) and self-confidence (water) were the components I was missing to begin my healing and journey towards self recovery. 

These small accomplishments also helped reinforce my relationship with beauty. Rather than feeling less than other girls, I have completely accepted that I don’t have all the conventional beauty marks, and that is okay. I began telling myself that I am beautiful on a daily basis, and started believing in it. Rather than pointing out the things I hated on my body, I started to point out things about my body that I loved. I began to dress up as if I was the most beautiful girl which led me to feel confident. 

The ability to see change has helped with how I respond to hurtful comments. I tell myself that I am not defined by what people think of me because I know who I am and I know where I stand. Regardless of this, there are definitely things that I know I’m not good at or understand, but I have been actively seeking out help to gain knowledge.  

I now have a renewed perspective of myself and I’m truly so much happier. I saw something online that prompted me to think of what I would tell my middle school self. It brought me to tears because I knew how much pain she was in and how much she wanted that encouragement to keep moving forward. 

I would tell my middle school self that she is enough and she is capable of doing all things; it’s up to her to start. The beauty that she is looking for starts with her heart. Lastly, I would tell her that she is loved and cared for. I would remind her she is worthy of love which is the meaning of her name.

I am still an unfinished product, and I will continue to mold myself into someone that my younger self would have never imagined I would be at. This was such a difficult journey, and it is not definitely over. My previous self still creeps in, but I have to remember my past and how far I have gone. I know that there are so many girls that have struggled with telling themselves lies, so I hope my journey can encourage them and heal from this way of thinking.

Husky and Kitten
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