The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Paved With Good Intentions

Following this question asked of me by Nadiah, I decided to make a post of it because there's only 16 posts in December (17 plus the previous Interlude I posted a few minutes ago). The question is: How do people accept themselves - faults, weaknesses, everything? 

One might argue and say that I am a pretty confident person. Most of my friends would say that because I'm pretty open around my friends (the reason I'm like this is because I want them to feel comfortable around me - a question I've never asked myself before but it was answered, nonetheless, by a friend of mine) and I can talk in front of people without stuttering or blanking out. However, when I meet new people, I tend to be more reserved and closed off (which is all shades of normal, it's not even worth noting) and once I start to understand a bit more about their method of communication, I'll try to adapt to that and hope for the best. Sometimes (most of the times), I'd say something really rude or offensive and my conversation partner would be a quiet for a while and sometimes, they'd say, "That was offensive." Here's the thing: I never apologize. Why should I apologize for telling you how I feel? I know I could be hurting people's feelings but suck it up. The world doesn't care about you and your feelings, I'm not about to start. 

The point being that around people I know, I'd act one way and around new acquaintances, I'd act another way entirely. Maybe that's not confidence. But you know what? In my opinion, confidence is believing you have confidence. It's just as simple as that. 

Physical appearance-wise, I'm no looker. If people tell me I'm pretty, I'll reply with, "I know," because I'm not going to deny it. I don't really care what you think about when you look at me. If people tell me I look horrible (which has strangely never happened but someone said I looked about 8 once), I'll tell them that I don't care because, honestly, what does it matter? People are so obsessed with how they look because they want to please other people whereas I'm good with just pleasing myself. Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I'll go to my dresser and put on a nice outfit and apply some make-up and look in the mirror until I'm ready to sleep. It boosts my confidence a lot (plus, if ever I need a quick outfit the morning after, it saves a lot of time). When I go out, I want to look nice so that I feel nice, not so that people will look at me and go, "Wow, she looks nice." Maybe not everyone feels this way and that's weird because why try to please other people when they really couldn't care less. I think this is one of my favorite things about Islam: the only person you have to look good for is your spouse (and I guess there's a rule about looking presentable in public as well but I'm not about to go out in my towel, for God's sake). Like, literally, there's a rule: when you go out, wear clothes that makes you look undesirable because the only person you're supposed to look desirable for is your husband. Of course, I guess, before that, you've gotta look somewhat pretty because then, how are you supposed to get a husband in the first place, right? Point made, I think. 

Body image is a twisted issue for me, especially since I know people who are/have been bulimic and/or anorexic.I'm not going to pretend I know where they're coming from because I have no clue. Ever since I can remember, I've been trying to unsuccessfully gain weight and grow taller. No such luck. This year, I think what with everything that happened, I started to let go of my resentment towards "normal sized" people. Who cares if no one believes me when I say I'm fourteen? Not me, that's who. So as to people who are trying to lose weight: being obese isn't healthy, sure, but if you're normal sized like mostly all of the people I know, just try to chill. Eat whatever the heck you want to eat as long as it's a balanced diet with enough vitamin. Believe it or not, nobody cares what you look like. And that is the sad truth. 

Of course, I've read surveys which concluded in appearance playing an important part in job-employment. Meh. Whatever. It's not like I'm in any way going to get a job anytime soon. When it comes down to it, you just have to look, be and feel healthy and hope for the best. If someone doesn't want to employ you based on your appearance, then you're not the dick, they are. Find a different job and you'll probably be better off. 

A worse form of low self esteem is probably when people don't feel that they are smart enough. God knows I've been through countless "I'm stupid" tirades and I'm not going to lie because I've been verbal enough on this topic in the past: some people are stupid. Like it or not, that's the way of the world. Don't worry too much about it. If you are stupid and you want to change, you will. Your time will come but in the mean time you can't just sit on your stupid ass all day and hope for the gift of God to land on your lap. Effort. Everyone will question their intelligence sooner or later. Heck, I start crying every time an exam or test is approaching, so I don't fault anyone for it. Difference is that I've been told I'm a bright girl as far back as I can remember. Other people probably didn't have the privilege. My Dad said that intelligence is actually a gift. Most are born with it. If you're not, that doesn't mean you should give up.

To those who feel that they're not smart enough, get over yourself. Most people don't care about how you look. Why should they care about how many A's you get on your exams. Ultimately, I understand that it's not really them you're trying to impress when it comes to the matter of intelligence, it's yourself. Here's an advice I'm sure many of you have heard: don't measure yourself to other people's standards. Baby steps. Don't count the grade point average or your A's and B's and C's. Go with the actual score. Say you got 45 for your first test. Aim higher for the next one. Even if it's 50, you've still exceeded your previous standards. Soon, you'll get 90 and then progress on to 100, Insya Allah. Don't try to do better than everyone else, try to do better than yourself. 

As for me, I've come to the point in my life that I can't just try to beat myself because I'm a very lazy person who's satisfied with an 85. Next year, I'm going to start measuring myself to other people's standards. This year, an A's an A. Next year, if it's not the highest, then it's not enough. 

I don't know why everyone's so self-conscious. I've written about the topic before: nobody cares about you except for you. Because, face it, everyone else is way too busy worrying about you thinking about them, they don't really have the time to think about you, much less think about you worrying about what they think of you. I think that's correct. 

So everyone should just calm the fuck down and measure yourself by your own standards. And if you can't do that, do what I do. Contrary to popular belief, it's not easy to not give a fuck. You don't get tired of the bullshit and then just go, "I don't give a fuck." For me, I have to remind myself each and everyday that I don't. I don't care. Sometimes I'll slip up and start to worry but you just shut your mind up. The only thing standing in the way is yourself. 

If you have flaws or weaknesses or anything you consider particularly embarrassing, just let it go. Nobody cares. If the flaw is bothering you, try to fix it but otherwise, I don't see why you can't learn to embrace it. Other people have done it before. 

Unless the flaw is that you killed someone (which is more of a mistake than a flaw but you never know). In which case, I can't help you. But you might want to try taking up the life and styles of Serena van der Woodsen. She "killed" someone and she's doing "just fine".

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