By: Natascha Jones, Guest Blogger
I’m standing face-to-face with Kate, having another conversation about men and dating. I feel like these little ditties are redundant with us, always the same, she wants to date a successful little hottie who can take her to dinner, pay for it, and thus make her feel safe; I want to be with someone I’m both physically and mentally attracted to, not just one or the other. But this time it’s a little different. Kate starts talking about her self-esteem and how it was once very low but since she has done “the work” she is in the upswing of self-realization and repair. I nod aggressively and blurt out “I have self-worth issues.”
I said it exactly as if I was telling someone I’m actually a morning-person.
This is a disposition that has just recently introduced itself to me. Like it was a prisoner of war and had just came home after 30+ years, set down it’s G.I. knapsack, stuck its hand out and made an introduction.
“Hi, I’m the real you. And you’re a worthless failure.”
Even typing the words is difficult because deep down I know they’re not true.
But the fact is, I feel like everyone else around me has everything figured out and even if they don’t have it figured out, they at least have a direction, or a contract or significant progress or a multi-book/multi-million dollar agreement WITH a mock-cover and a branded line. Oddly enough I’m not jealous or envious of these people. Some of them catch me off guard because I know the person is a wang and I’m not quite sure how that particular opportunity fell into their lap – but it doesn’t matter. What matters is my Universe and I feel like I’ve been sitting in Lotus watching everyone else advance in fast-forward, catching their dreams in a giant butterfly net. Everything is moving and progressing all around me while I sit afraid to make a single move because I expect perfection from myself.
I have a house full of unfinished projects: it’s embarrassing. I was a Pinterest failure before it was cool. I have a scarf, knitted to the perfect length, but with the end unfinished. I started that project nine years ago. I have a drawing of a woman with no face. I’m too afraid to lay those details down on paper as if I’ve forgotten about erasers or something.
Image from bellenoirmag.blogspot.com
So when my friend Emily came up to Kate and I and asked: “What are we talking about? Boys??” My ‘easy’ answer was yes; on the surface we were talking about guys but what we were really talking about was our self-esteem and self-perception and at that point mine was in the gutter. Or was it? I looked at Emily for a moment, ready to take the easy route of the ‘guy convo’ when I had a change of heart. Kate and I were talking about something much more amazing and I wanted to tell Emily all about it. So I said “no, we’re talking about self-worth and self-esteem and I have real problems with both.” I thought Emily was going to pick me up and spin me around the room she was so thrilled. Thrilled that I am constantly in a fight with my inner thighs, my face, my hair, my lack of success, my inability to be in a relationship; she was thrilled that I was my own worst enemy.
Because everyone struggles with self-worth and self-esteem issues.
This was huge for me.
Everyone?? All the people around me who I believe are completely rock-solid individuals are actually in the middle of their own self-deprecating fight? I think I may have actually looked around at the people in the room because I just couldn’t believe this was true.
But it is. Every single person, Victoria’s Secret models, The President of the United States, my super successful millionaire best friend, and the other bestie who has three different houses and lots of fun toys, all of these people have their own demons and they either choose to face them and fight them or they live with the demons, never even knowing they’re a prisoner to their own insults.
So what am I doing about it? Baby steps. I’ve learned that it’s ok to admit I have these thoughts. Maybe when I feel I’m in a safe place, or perhaps I’m connecting with someone who can benefit from my confession, I’ll tell them how I really feel. I practice vulnerability and intimacy. I mean real intimacy, the kind between friends and family, not just someone you’re physically sleeping with or hooking up with or whatever. Consider the difference between those two because it is huge. In my opinion, if you’re only able to feel intimacy in a sexual way, you don’t know your head from your ass. And I would know because I was that girl.
But now I am this girl. I am imperfect and often times what I say or do doesn’t come out perfectly. Sometimes my projects don’t come out as perfectly as I want them to, but I try. I don’t have pencil-skinny thighs and now that I think about, I’m so glad. I don’t look perfect in a bathing, and I still have a lot of fun playing on the beach.
I’m not really exactly sure what I’m supposed to do with this life but I have some ideas; if you’re not happy before you get the skinny thighs, the money, the boob job, or the high-paying job, you won’t be happy after.
Now I’m going to use my legs and my feet and this life and run down to the beach and be grateful that I’m alive.
About Natascha: While she would have to inform you that her “day” job is in esthetics and makeup artistry, Natascha truly spends her days in sunny Venice Beach laughing with her friends, riding her bike, and telling grandiose stories encouraging others to laugh, cry or think. She is passionate about her efforts to live life fully and push her comfort zone, which is why she spills her guts to you and she hopes you’ll still love her.