If I didn’t love myself, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be able to push myself to try new things. I would learn that being comfortable is what’s most important and that self-growth doesn’t matter. I would learn to go with the flow and do what all my friends are doing because well, that’s what everyone’s doing. I would do what is expected of me and go day by day, no matter how stagnant things can be.
If I didn’t love myself, I would based my self-esteem on their perception of me and value myself through other people’s eyes. I would allow others to use, abuse, and leave me because it’s really not a big deal. People come and go right? I would hate myself for their departure but at the same time, blame them for hurting me. I would take it personally and tell myself that I must not good enough because the people in my life keeps leaving me. I wouldn’t be able to accept the fact that some people are only meant to come into your life for a short amount of time and still have an effect on you that could last a life time.
If I didn’t love myself, I would allow guys who sees me as nothing more than a sex object to occupy my time. I would constantly chase boys and beg them to fill a void that no other person, other than myself, can complete. I would change myself: my image, standards, values and morals, personality, and pretty much anything they would ask me to just to keep them around. I would allow them to come and go as they please because I don’t value my time.
If I didn’t love myself, I would go from lover to lover, using my body as a bargaining chip in this game we call “love”. I would wonder why I still fall for the same type of guys because I failed to learn anything in the process of jumping from relationship to relationship. I might even accept that they cheat and beat because this is all that I believe I deserve. I would learn to bite my tongue, hide my black eye with makeup and tell others he didn’t mean to, he’s sorry, he loves me and recall all of the lies I tell myself as I fall asleep at night.
If I didn’t love myself, my body would not be of my own. Instead, it would a clay model as I mold it to what the media and society tells me instead of learning to develop my style. I would shave and wax, cut and color, and spend all of my money on expensive designer clothing because I wanted to fit in. I would focus solely on what I look like instead of what intellectual context comes out of my mouth.
If I didn’t love myself, the only thing I would read are women magazine for the latest styles, gossip, diet tips, and learn about the best sex tricks to “spice things up in the bedroom” because that’s all I have to offer. I would diet, eat my lettuce and be sad because I want to look like the girls on the cover. I might even throw it all up because I can’t imagine any guy would want me for being anything above a 100 pounds.
If I didn’t love myself, I would only travel to exotic beaches for the sole purpose of taking amazing Instagram photos to show to the world that I’m fabulous and happy. I would be obsessed with my image on social media because I want to control the impression people have of me. I want them to know that I’m happy, rich, and that I’m better than they are because I can take beautiful photos and live a life they only dream about.
If I didn’t love myself, I would not pursue my goals because what I want doesn’t matter. Instead, I would do what others say because I’m a good little girl. I would be soft and subtle, obedient and gentle, a lady in the streets but a freak in the sheets. If I didn’t love myself, I wouldn’t be able to pursue an independent lifestyle because I would depend on others for their validation. I wouldn’t be able to accept myself for who I am, what I like, and work to become who I strive to be because that’s not what people what. What people want is a pretty girl, who does pretty things, stays in her pretty little lane and doesn’t dare to be anything more.
It’s a good thing I love myself more than that.
Author’s Note: I hope that you enjoy this piece. I drafted this on my commute back home and thought to myself that I wish more people love and respected themselves more than they do. I will admit, I am guilty of a few things I wrote about but that’s okay. As mentioned in my piece, An Open Letter to My Younger Self, I am learning to love myself more and value my time better. I hope that this piece will inspire you to do the same!
Keep loving yourself,
Inspired by conversations with friends and me