A Letter To My Coming-Of-Age Insecurities

Dear Darling Insecurities,

Yes, you. All of you. My worries, self-doubt, and self-hatred. My brain, my smile, and my body. I want to say hello. Finally. I know we don’t talk much, at least not like this, all together. But maybe that’s the problem-I know of you, but I don’t know about you. Well, I’m here to break that barrier, once and for all. Clear up the misconceptions. Dive deep into the bottom of this ocean of fear and anxiousness.

Why? Because you deserve goodness and you deserve love. No matter what you whispered to me, all those years ago. Even if I am still struggling to accept my flaws and self-criticisms, even to this day. I know the truth now.

Dear insecurities, are you confused as to why I’m being kind to you? Why I’m taking the time to acknowledge your existence, your shifting power over me? I was too, until I started writing this letter. Then, I realized something.

As a 20-year-old young woman, I feel like life has changed drastically since my teenage years from high school. Rummaging through my yearbook and old journals in my parents’ office has allowed me to reminisce over childhood memories. As I blast Lorde through the pitter-patter rhythm of the rain in my cloudy room, I feel much like a character in one of those coming-of-age, B-list films.

But life is not a Hollywood movie, and the most important lesson to be found here is that I am happier than I ever was, even if I am still in the process of learning how to love and accept myself. And a big part of that happiness is not in what I have, but who I’ve become.

Of course, I am still learning and growing (as we all are), but I’ve unknowingly passed the transition point from self-hate to self-love in my journey of both discovery and creation. Yes, I do feel unsure and oh, do I have doubts. But I am less inclined, less seduced by the prospect of perfection than I was before.

And that is because I’ve realized that I was wrong to hate you. Hate only fuels hate, and in hating what I wasn’t good at, I didn’t love what I was good at. In hating my flaws for what they were not, I wasn’t able to see what they were. I didn’t celebrate the fact that no one is perfect, and that trying and failing is a part of the adventure, after all.

Dear insecurities, I hope you know that I never hated you. In fact, I guess I just misunderstood you. Feared you. For being strange, for being weird, for not being normal. As you existed as the parts of me that I had so desperately wanted to change, to transform.

As a perfectionist, I understand now that my birth of you was because I had grown up thinking I was not enough in the first place. That I didn’t have what it took to be strong, beautiful, smart, successful. I had listened and given power to you because I was afraid of failure.

The essence of the core in my identity is more, much more, than I had allowed to give myself credit for. I spent so much time listening to your whispers, that I hid myself in the shadows.

Now, dear insecurities, I see that your existence is not because I feared I wasn’t enough, but because I was afraid of becoming too much.

I was wrong. And by choosing to now take time to celebrate my imperfections and the parts of me I once hated, I have allowed myself to find joy in my identity.

I see it now. We all have the power to become who we’ve always wanted to be, who we’ve always been destined to be. But that power lies in our choices and in our hearts, in learning how to persevere and love ourselves, no matter what we or other people think or say.

Only in loving the deepest, darkest, most doubtful parts of ourselves can we find the light that can help guide us in our journeys of recovery and joy.

In my coming-of-age transition, I wish I knew back then that it’s okay to be a lot. To be too much of a woman, too much of a geeky scholar, too much of an adventure-seeking soul. To laugh loudly, to love deeply, to exist bravely. To not be scared of being labeled, of being annoying or different or weird. To put myself out there.

Dear insecurities, I welcome you to the healing process of Life. Because I know that it’s going to take a lot to feel confident in who I am now, but the reality is, that I am trying. And I will work to have you transform, from a valley of self-hate to a sky of self-love.

This is not the end. This is only the beginning.


That Imperfect Soul Still Searching For Herself

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