I often wonder at the antipathy in the world that seems to seize one individual after the other on a daily basis. Of course, antipathy is not exactly a strange term to mankind, we’ve been through many forms of it: bullying, apartheid, racism, slavery, genocides, terrorism, even full blown civil wars and world wars. But what really strikes me about this particular form is the fact that it is perpetrated by man not against his fellow man- though that is worrisome enough- but against himself. The fact that man makes himself a target for himself is what bothers me. But what bothers me even more, is that I also find myself guilty of it.
Perhaps it is because I don’t have that beauteous body that I think the sleek black leather jacket that I saw at the mall won’t look good on me. Perhaps that is also why I eat once in three days and wear only baggy clothes. Perhaps it is because I got a D on my last test that I don’t think I’m worthy of achieving my dream of becoming the first pilot from my town. Perhaps that is also why I steer clear of the smart kids in my class and avoid talking to them, since I probably won’t understand a word they say. Perhaps it is because my smile is nowhere near mesmerizing that I don’t have a love interest. Perhaps that is also why I spend hours on the internet looking for the cheapest plastic surgeon around. Perhaps it’s because…
To be honest, I’m not perfect. I’m not the type that’ll ever get asked to model for a clothing line, I’ve never come in top 5 in my class and my parents say I’ll never get married. I’m not happy with that, I wish I was different. I wish I could be the me of my dreams. But who is the me of my dreams? The person with the hot body and genius brains who’s got tens of people drooping saliva? Is that the me I want to be? Again, to be honest, yes. Why? Because I’ve never been that way before and I’m sure it feels good. How do I know that? I just do.
But now, I choose to ask myself, why is that the me of my dreams? Why do I want to ‘feel good’ that way so badly? Fine, feeling good in itself isn’t a bad thing; but should that be a good enough reason for me to choose who I want to be and make my decisions? Should that image be the blueprint for my life?
True, I only live once. Since that’s the case, how should I play out the only chance I have at life? Should I aim to do what I want and keep myself feeling good? Or aim to be a person of value and virtue? I have only one shot at life. This means I have only one chance to excel at life and do all the things I want to. So what do I really want for myself? Who do I really want to be? Perhaps it’s something I need to take time to think about.
Yes! I have it; the image of who I want to be. I want to be a person of value and virtue and feel good while I’m at it. But then I can’t change my face or outfit just to impress others and call myself someone of value, can I? I can’t avoid being involved in intellectual discussions and expect myself to be valued as possibly the first pilot from here, can I? Because that’s simply me not valuing myself. If I don’t value myself, how can I expect others to value me? How will they even know who to value? I’m too busy hiding the real me anyway. But then, if I don’t have an alluring face and dress to impress, I won’t hang out with the popular crowd or go on dates. And if I have neither the popular crowd nor the dating escapades, how do I feel good? What exactly does feeling good mean anyway? It means to be happy, right? Well, what makes me happy? What should make me happy?
Right now, I’ll definitely be happy if someone walks up to me and says I’m the smartest, most talented, alluring youngster they’ve ever seen. No one has ever said that to me before, so maybe I do need to change a bit. But then, do I have to change just because no one compliments me? Do I need anyone to compliment me? Should I lose myself just because they don’t compliment me? No, never!
I compliment myself. I tell myself I look great even I have a cold and there’s mucus dripping from my nose. I eat when I’m hungry. I talk with who I want and ask questions about things I’m curious about whether people find me ignorant or not. I study. I wear what I love. I refuse to get myself in a relationship with someone interested only in how I look and not who I am. I forget about plastic surgeons and crazy diets. I take care of me.
The me of my dreams should be confident and bold, not looking to others for self-validation, or following trends just because they’re trending. The me of my dreams studies and works hard to achieve long-held dreams. That me is selfless and doesn’t just live in the moment for the moment, but looks ahead and makes plans. The me of my dreams is awesome and smart because that’s simply the truth. The me of my dreams feels good because self-care is prioritized and is a person of value and virtue because self-love is practised. That me positively impacts everyone I come in contact with.
The me of my dreams; that’s who I want to be. That’s who I’m going to be.