You Are A Diamond In The Rough

Ali Leila
Ali Leila

There were moments in my life when I really thought I was a nobody. Oh, scratch that. It happens all the time. If you knew me for a long time already, you would know that I never really had enough confidence in myself. Not because I didn’t have anyone believing in me―not at all―but because I’ve always thought that there really is nothing I can be proud of.

I often dreamt of being able to do amazing things (I know we all do) yet I was constantly seeing myself clueless, empty-handed as to how. Every now and then I wonder what it feels like to be known and recognized for something. The same way that Leonardo Da Vinci is known for Mona Lisa, as if he was assigned the great privilege of painting it.

Believe me, it’s not easy being stuck in mediocrity. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, not even for a single time in your life, then I am sincerely happy for you.

Growing up as a shy girl, I sometimes find myself amazed at the woman (or so I think) I have become. It even surprises me whenever people tell me that I inspire them in a way because ironically, I have always had a hard time motivating myself. And you know what? The fact that I was able to motivate people is enough to make me happy. It makes me realize my worth.

I know I haven’t seen enough of what life has to offer, not yet. I know I still have a long way to go, but the first few years gifted to me were enough to let me see the beauty of this contrasting world.

You see, we often think about how other people see us that we sometimes neglect ourselves.

Society has developed this certain standard that demands people to respect you only when you are:

a) beautiful and/or sexy
b) academically excellent
c) talented, d) filthy rich or
e) all of the above.

It’s awful. It leaves people feeling as if they will never be enough. It makes them feel worthless, like they are only insignificant pieces of this world. And it saddens me because we work desperately hard just to appease humanity.

Every time I think about it, the term “sonder” comes to mind. This unusual word, used to describe the understanding that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as our own, remains as a thought that the society needs to comprehend.

That obese person you just laughed at could be trying her very best to be your standard of “beautiful”. That man who doesn’t have clothes as nice as the ones you’re wearing may have a mind that could change the world. The boy that’s always being made fun of at school could be someone who has never felt loved at all. We all have stories to share.

I said it once, I’ll say it again. Appearance doesn’t equate to worth.

See the world for yourself and be informed that there is so much more beyond your aesthetically-appealing Instagram feed. So to you, if you were ever made worthless by anyone, be proud of yourself. You’ve gone a long way, you know that? Take some rest. You deserve to be happy despite of all your imperfections. Besides, don’t imperfections exist to give you room to grow, to be a better version of yourself?

For trying to give your very best every single day of your life, I congratulate you. For once, be proud of yourself. Be proud of yourself for waking up in the morning when it feels like there’s nothing to look forward to anymore. Still, be proud of yourself for failing an exam you pulled an all-nighter for because you tried. Be proud of yourself for speaking your mind even if no one cares to listen to you.

Be proud of yourself for making people laugh because it takes a little act of selflessness to cheer people up. Be proud of yourself for daring to love even when they don’t deserve it at all.

Be proud of yourself for being you.

You are a gem, and if I could go an extra mile to make you realize that, I would gladly take the chance to do so. I came across a statement that says, “How cool is it that the same God that created mountains and oceans and galaxies looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too?” It has stuck with me since.

Always remember that you do have a worth. Your life has a meaning. Live it for the people who see your value, the people who see how much of a blessing you are in this world.

At the end of the day, there is no one else in charge of your own happiness but yourself. You may never be great enough to paint a Mona Lisa, but you’re still meant to do amazing things with a heart as pure as yours.

In a world as inconsistent as this, people will constantly expect you to be their definition of perfection, unraveling their own frustrations and insecurities. Do not be swayed. Be who you ought to be. And for being content amidst all the pandemonium of life, give yourself a pat on the back and say, “I’m so proud of you.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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