Learning to Be Me

Learning to Be Me

Tanasia Patterson, Staff Writer

Everyone who meets me tends to tell me they love the fact that I am so confident in myself. They also tend to tell me the love the fact that I love the skin that I’m in. If only they knew this wasn’t always the case. It took a while for me to accept myself. I wasn’t what you called an ugly duckling or anything but I wasn’t comfortable within myself. When I was young I was the apple of my parent’s eye. To them I could do no wrong.  I was the perfect child. When I was younger I had low self- esteem. I was what people today called thick but I didn’t feel pretty. I wore glasses, had braces, and was chubby. It didn’t help either that at school people wouldn’t let me forget it. People would treat me differently because of my appearance. I would have a crush on a boy but I never said anything. To me there was no point being that I knew he wouldn’t be into me anyway. It was terrible. It was this way for quite some time. I just wasn’t confident in myself. I finally got myself together in 8th grade.

I got my braces taken off and I started concentrating on my health. I went away to my grandparents’ house in Virginia for the whole summer. While there I attended the YMCA. I was attending camp. There is a huge difference between camps there and camps here. Camp here you go on trips every day. Camp there is different. Although we went on trips some of them consisted of physical activity. Doing that every day for 2 months does the body good.

I would eat healthier and exercise. By the time I came back to NY I was 25 pounds lighter. I was kind of comfortable with myself. I came back and was ready to start high school. I started at my school and wouldn’t talk to anyone. I make friends the 2nd week. You know you can be comfortable with yourself but there are always people who have something to say about you. People started trying to make fun of me because of the way I speak. I am very soft spoken and they took that as a sign of weakness. Each day I had people making fun of me until one day I decided to stop it.

I was tired of people picking on me I went through it during my entire time in middle school. I decided to stand up for myself. I learned be comfortable in my own skin. I knew I had to love myself in order for others to do so. I couldn’t keep telling myself that I wasn’t perfect. No one is perfect so I need to stop trying to be.

I learned to love the skin I was in. People should realize that bullies aren’t comfortable with themselves so they try to make others feel the same way. I didn’t want to give people the satisfaction of seeing that they got to me so I made sure to keep my head held high. My grandmother always told me that “If I kept my head held high my tiara would never fall.” I decided to finally take her advice and keep my head held high. My grandmother would always tell me little things to boost my self-esteem. She would constantly tell me that “I was beautiful and if people couldn’t see it they were blind.” I would often laugh until I got older and I realized she was right. If people were going to love you then they would based on what was in the inside and not what was on the outside. I didn’t understand when I was younger but I realized once I was older that everything she said was true.

When I meet people I base how I feel about them on their personality. People tend to go for someone based on looks. I’ve learned that people who do not have everything in the looks department are some of the most humble people you will meet. It isn’t what is on the outside but rather what is on the inside. If I love myself then others will too. Love starts with you.