Sometimes I feel like if I was pretty, then I would be thin.
I know this is illogical, and stupid. But please, let me say that it’s not a cry for help or a call for attention. I know it looks like one, but I’m not the boy who cried wolf so don’t roll your eyes at me, I’m not standing in a beautiful gown stroking my flat stomach and flapping my lustruous hair around and complaining about myself so that you can tell me how wrong, and therefore how wonderful, I am. I’m not asking you to do anything or say anything or think anything or feel anything about me. For all I know you might feel the same way as I do.
And I don’t feel the same way I do all the time, anyway. Sometimes I feel like if I was pretty, then I would be thin. Sometimes I feel like I am pretty. Sometimes I don’t know what thin even is, and sometimes I do and I don’t want it. Sometimes I feel perfect in every way. But sometimes I don’t. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not pretty, and sometimes I feel like that’s what’s stopping me from being thin.
Do you know what it’s like, and if you don’t then stand up and wave because I suspect you’re in the tiny minority, but do you know what it’s like to feel like you’re not worth it? I’m very impressed if you don’t. Why do L’Oreal keep telling us we’re worth it unless they know that we sometimes need reminding? Nobody’s perfect, nobody is and nobody will ever be, and that is partly because of Society, because Society can’t make up its mind what it wants from us, which is strange because Society is us. But Society can’t make up its mind and as a result whatever we strive for, however close we get to it, and however wonderful it is should we achieve it, there will come a time when something different is more important. To Society. And then what you worked for, and sacrificed for and spent for and slaved for, is somehow expected, it’s a bare minimum, it loses the value it had and so you lose the value you had when what you had was valued. Hopefully you can still value it yourself, still be proud of yourself for what you achieved, or lost, or gained, or got, because you should be. Whatever you achieve through effort, you should be proud of. And if you are pretty without any effort at all, then you should still be proud.
Beauty can be ruined very easily by a bad attitude, I think, and maybe that’s my problem when I don’t feel pretty. I don’t feel pretty today, and I know that coincides with a bad attitude, but I’m trying to improve it by analysing it to death. Some people feel perfect, and that is wonderful, I don’t care what the real world says because if someone feels happy about the way they are, then that person is my hero. If you feel perfect in any way, then you are my hero. On the days when I feel perfect, I am my hero.
Sometimes I think that if I was pretty, I would be thin. And this comes back to L’Oreal. Sometimes I think that if I was worth the effort, I would make the effort to be thin. Sometimes I feel like there’s no point trying to be thin, because the raw material I have to work with is never going to do thin justice. Sometimes I feel like I am a turd, and to be thin would be no more than a polish.
You can polish a turd you know. Mythbusters did it. But it’s still a turd.
But the problem is, this is stupid. This isn’t about pretty or thin, this is about worth, and it’s stupid. I’m not talking about getting thin, I’m talking about finding my worth. Acknowledging my worth. Because I don’t know what I’m worth, but I know I’m worth something. I know I’m not worth nothing. I don’t know if I’m worth it, but why do I feel like I don’t deserve it?
I suspect the reason I feel like I’m not worth it is because right now, there are more things that I dislike about myself than things I like. And that’s not because I dislike things I used to like, it’s just the things I like are just there, they’re ordinary, they’re not jumping out demanding my attention like the things I dislike are.
I dislike the way I’m blaming everything on being tired, this is weak and lazy of me. I dislike the way I’m not getting things done, this is lazy and selfish of me. I dislike the way I’m whining, this is unbritish of me and I am so lucky and where do I get off complaining from my ivory tower? The hashtags of #firstworldproblems and #middleclassproblems make me howl with laughter but I find myself tacking them on to a lot of the things I say these days and it really stopped being charming a while ago now. I dislike the way I’m handling certain situations, I am lucky to have what I have and what is wrong with me that I’m going all weird just because something new has come up? I dislike the way I’m disappointing myself in my new job, I don’t understand why I am suffering from symptoms of stress when up til now I’ve piled on the pressure and carried on and I feel like I’m being melodramatic about it, even as my skin breaks out and my hands crack and bleed and my shoulders are so tense they ache.
I like my eyes, I think they are a pretty colour. I like my brain, it has plenty of space left to fill but I like that it helps me to understand things without too much trouble. I like that it helps me to play the game with my other half where we try to out-do each other’s punchlines until it’s time to start making dinner. I like my taste, in people and in books and in films, well films is questionable, I like films that a lot of other people hate, but I like them, and that is Ok with me. I like that I work well under pressure and to be honest, I am intrigued by the fact that I’ve found my limit. I wish I hadn’t crossed the limit but I am proud of myself for recognising that and speaking to people to get back to the right side of the limit. I like my friends, I have amazing friends, and sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve them but other times I feel like that’s for them to decide, not me. I love my cats, and they love me, and sometimes the way my cats love me makes me feel like I’m worth it, all by itself.
I’m only human, I’m not some great humanitarian, I don’t see the worth in every person on this green Earth and I haven’t mounted a mission to make sure everyone knows they’re worth it, but when my friends talk to me about feeling bad about themselves, it astounds me, because they are all so precious to me, and so wonderful in so many ways. And I know that when I tell them this, sometimes they have a hard time with it, because when you feel worthless, even when you feel one little corner of yourself is worthless, someone else telling you you’re wrong feels like lip service. No matter how much they mean it and how hard they hug you and how many ways they say it and how much evidence they have to show it, it feels awkward and so you close off and it doesn’t sink in.
It’s nice, you think, that they would go to all the effort of speaking those words, how nice of them to think so much of me that they took the time to speak this speech. But do you really think, “wow, I genuinely matter to this person, this person is truly grateful for my friendship, this thing about myself that I hate is loved, if not by me then on my behalf”?
Dear friends, please know that you genuinely matter to me. I am truly grateful for your friendship. If I wasn’t, I would find it easier not to bother. I am that lazy and socially inept that friendship is an effort for me, I sometimes feel like it is something I impose on people. Yes, I am that selfish and that lazy, I love being at home and I love being with my honey and our cats because that’s where I feel most comfortable. If I take the time to go out to see you, or to invite you in to see me, or talk to you on Twitter or Facebook or Google+ or by text or e-mail or carrier pigeon, please know that this is a big thing for me, and I do so because I want to. Because I don’t care what you think your value is, or how you feel about yourself. Because you are pretty, and interesting, and funny and clever. You all are. You just are. And this is a sweeping generalisation to everyone I love, because you know who you are, and if you’re wondering if that includes you because you’re not sure if we’re really that close, then yes, it does. It does include you. It just does.
Because you’re worth it.