I am suppose to be writing on how I came to find myself, I guess my journey to realizing my beauty.
When I was really young I knew I was cute, lovable, smart, capable, and a gift to the world. Somewhere between then and 12 years old, I lost that sense of truth. I learned to compare myself to others. I could see how smart others were. I could see how pretty others were. I could see how many friends others had. I could only see what everybody else had and forgot what I was meant to be.
My first memory of not being able to believe in myself comes from the bus stop. All the neighborhood kids waited at the end of the street for the bus. I was one of two Tami's on my street, Big Tammy and Little Tami. I was little Tami. I was also eager, not gifted with any sports ball, and easy to pick on. I believe in people, always have, meaning I am gullible. I don't look for malice and trust too much. I got teased a ton. I got talked into believing lies and everyone but me knowing the truth.
I could feel their struggle with me but didn't understand why. I guess that was when I started to think that everyone in the world was prettier, smarter, cooler, funnier, you name it than me. The biggest problem was that Big Tammy didn't like me or that I had her name, so she rolled her eyes at me, was short with me, and made me feel stupid in front of and around the other kids. When you are little you are not evolved enough to realize that the bully is broken different than you. I just wanted friends and had some, but only when others weren't watching. They would be my friend in private but not at school. I felt alone most the time. I had a best friend who was my age and great. She just couldn't play as much as I could and had older siblings.
My first memory of feeling incompetent and a failure was in school. Once you learn to read, the teacher likes to go around the classroom and make everyone read a paragraph out loud. I stumbled on almost every other word. Kids who could read well who audibly sigh. When it was my turn, my inadequacy frustrated them because I slowed it down. So instead of reading along with the class, I would count how many desks where in front of me and beside me. That way, either direction I could kind of read the paragraph I was suppose to read as many times as I possibly could so out loud I didn't sound stupid or dumb. When I was the first chair or called on, I would try to act out instead of read. Then when it was free reading time, I would look around at the class and be so frustrated others kids were smiling and even giggling as they read their books. I guess this is when I started mastering the looking at everyone else part of my life. I could just see they were clearly smarter, which almost meant they were prettier and cooler than I was and could do and have everything I didn't.
Silly right? I wrote these ugly words in my head because somebody was better at something than me. I have always had a lot of energy and would prefer to talk rather than read, write, or study. This made me a problem with teachers. I truly struggled in school. I tell people I was the biggest dork--no friends, smarts, or status. Nowadays when I say it, they don't believe me. But it was and is true. I still am working through a lot of the insecurities I imprinted deep into my heart at an impressionable age.
Life should not be a comparison game. No one else is exactly like you, so why should you try to be exactly like someone else? Our strengths and weaknesses make us who we beautifully are!
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