I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life and do you know what I’ve realized?
There are just some people out there who don’t fucking like you.
They don’t like you because of jealousy; because you have a solid foundation in a relationship when theirs, right now, is crumbling. They don’t like you because they could never feel confident enough to pull off those wing-tipped eyes or bold lips, or avant-garde outfits you wear to work effortlessly. They don’t like you because you were promoted to a job that they think they’re better suited in.
I’ve been disliked a lot in my life for no other reason than because it triggered someone else’s anxiety. And here’s the thing, worrying about their self-esteem is not my problem. I refuse to change who I am because they have a problem with it. And you know why? Because, like them, it took me years to dig myself out of the mental state where I thought I was horrible.
Growing up with medical issues, I was consistently ostracized. I had no control of my bladder, and do you think my fifth-grade classmates tried to understand when I ran down to my mom, grabbing a new pair of pants in embarrassment? The quick answer: no the fuck they didn’t. When I liked a guy, made attempts at contacting him via my AOL account when I was twelve, and he told all his friends, making a mockery out of me – I didn’t come out of that unscathed. I didn’t come out unscathed when my “best friend” started a rumor I was gay – and when the teasing and torment was so bad I had no choice but to transfer schools when I was 13.
I was picked last in gym class to the point where I just stopped playing. I was fat, riddled with acne and still had that innocence for playing Pokemon when all the rest of my friends were wearing Bonnebelle lip gloss. I was pushed into pools fully clothed and at one point, such an outcast that my parents came to recess with a boombox and hula-hoops in an effort to make me popular for 45-minutes.
I had to face torment and snide remarks from teachers, when I walked around my high school senior year, engaged. I met those same snide remarks from my brother when I told him I was getting divorced, when he had no idea about the abuse and mental exhaustion I’d endured. I had no money, no car, worked multiple jobs, trying whatever I could to re-evaluate, to re-adjust my life to the point where I felt like I wanted to start living where the bad names didn’t control me.
And then my mom died from cancer, and it was like that self-esteem, that reassuring part of myself drifted from my body, just like hers.
So, life is not always wonderful. The people that you look at, the ones who go after a better job, who wear those effortlessly weird clothes, the ones who seem brave enough to don purple lipstick while chomping on nachos at Don Pablo’s – they’re not as brave as you think because every single action is a contemplation to push outside their comfort zone, to feel more at peace with themselves, to try and grab the kind of life they’ve been fighting for since they were children. You don’t know people’s backstories. You don’t know what make them tick, what make them sad, scared, or even the cocky, “confident” person you hate sitting next to at work.
This is not a PSA to be kind to everyone as much as it is a PSA to be kinder to yourself. When someone hates you for no reason, remember that it’s not about you, it’s about them and their opinion is not a reflection on the life you built. You’re the one who dug yourself out, who faced those criticisms and chose to live a better life. People will always hate you; it’s just the way the world works. But, don’t ever hate someone else convince you to hate yourself. Always be your own reflection. Don’t let someone else who’s still fighting to recognize their worth, dull that pretty little sparkle of yours.