Today, I headed to the coffee shop to write. I hoped the caffeine and the customers would produce a creative energy inside me. However, I couldn’t concentrate on blogging because of the couple sitting beside me. I’m not sure how long they dated, but the man seemed more into the woman than she was into him. And I overhead (eavesdropped on) an uncomfortable conversation.
Don’t act like you never did! I strained to hear his words when a truck with a booming sound system passed by. I won’t repeat the intimate details, but let’s just say it overflowed with over-sharing. Perhaps she would have been more interested if he was less pressed. He came across as unsure, uncomfortable and insecure. I yearned to shout–stop acting thirsty, and drink your latte.
At first, I felt embarrassment for the woman. Then I felt embarrasement for the man. Then, I reminded myself that most singles, men and women, have been in his insecurity and impatient shoes before. I wore a size nine.
I’m no longer that person—never really fit into those shoes that squeezed, not my toes, but my soul. However, there were instances in my life when I walked in unassuredness. Those shoes matched the heart on my sleeve. When I took them off, I was more comfortable in my skin. Here’s why.
I saw flaws as beauty marks.
I’ve stretched the definition of beauty to include stretch marks, breakouts and bad hair days. I have days when I don’t feel pretty, but you know what’s funny? When I look back at pictures where I didn’t have freshly applied makeup or recently pressed hair, I look the same as in those pictures where I just came from the salon! There wasn’t a huge difference, even if I felt there was when I looked in the mirror. We often live by feeling… not fact.
Although you should be realistic about your weight and your health and work to be a better you, you, not another person or society, should define your beauty both inside and out.
I no longer need compliments.
Don’t get me wrong—I love when a man tells me that I look good, smell good and sound good. I appreciate when someone pays attention to the details—the new subtle scent sprayed behind my ears or the perfectly fitting dress I purchased after trying on five others at my favorite store.
I once dated a male model—it wasn’t really a rebound relationship, but it was the first relationship I entered after ending a serious one a year or so before. In the beginning, I felt special. I always thought I was pretty attractive, but my self-esteem was bruised when I fell into a relationship rut. So when I dated a man who was the face of a national campaign, his compliments created confidence. But it wasn’t long before I remembered that one person’s words shouldn’t have more weight than my own. I told myself that I was someone special. My words and my faith redeveloped my self-wroth.
I look forward to dating myself.
I am comfortable in my skin, so much so that I would rather date myself than another person on this weekend. Not every weekend, but every once in awhile. Walking back from the coffee shop, I smiled. I am happy for no particular reason. I enjoyed sipping a caramel capachino, eating Thai takeout and writing my musings, no matter how random they may be. I went to the park and wrote this story. On the bench beside me sat another couple. They were quiet and exchanged smiles and gestures. They didn’t have to say a word. Their confidence told me their story.
Hey BMWK Fam—How have you become comfortable in your skin? When you feel a little insecure, what helps you remember your worth?
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