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I used to think there was something wrong with me. Something inferior. Too this. Too that. Too much. Too little. Not enough.
I have always felt a need to justify myself, gain approval, be somehow made to feel good enough. I have felt ashamed of who I am - lazy, gluttonous, lustful, like I am a hot bed of deadly sins.
And I have been seeking approval in all the wrong places. I have been seeking approval outside of myself. I have always focused on myself as lacking but if I reframe things to celebrate what I am and what I enjoy, there is no inferiority, simply difference.
On some level we’re all a bit terrified. Existential fear quietly gnaws away at our equilibrium and to combat this we put each other into categories to try and feel a little bit safer. But like nincompoops we misinterpret these categories as a barometer of how worthwhile we actually are. We desperately try to ‘fit in’, forgetting that our precious uniqueness is what makes us interesting and interested in the world at large. Everyone is searching for definition when we are at our essence gloriously indefinable.
My god, the years I spent apologising for myself, having arguments in my head, justifying why I wasn't lazy or greedy whilst being terrified I was slothful, gluttonous, pleasure obsessed, repugnant. Feeling wounded when people criticised me for being different from them and desperately wishing I was better, more worthy. Feeling maligned yet also spotlighted - seen as the sinful beast I secretly feared I was.
I am beginning to realise that I am not one thing or another. I am a cocktail of paradoxical passions. I love spending all day in bed and I love going on adventures. I love reality television and I love obscure foreign art house films. I love junk food and I love wholesome food. I love exercise and I love overindulging. I love high brow and low brow. I love eyebrows and low bows. I love attempting to surf and I love lying on a sun lounger for ten hours. People are full of marvellous contractions and a heartbreaking propensity towards self disgust.
I spent too long feeling ashamed of such benign and precious things. So I invite myself, and anyone else who has felt this way, to focus on what is loveable, to shake off notions of inferiority and stand tall and proud, emboldened by all the fascinatingly contrary fabulous things that make you YOU.
You do you and I’ll do me is a good phrase. It claims a fundamental right to individuality, which is what makes us so damn sexy in the first place.
Lying in bed drinking wine, eating chocolate, watching Love Island with a blissful grin on my face - a lazy, greedy, vacuous piglet, or a relaxed, contented, delightful creature? One person’s trash is another’s treasure. And I treasure my trashy TV.
Let’s go forth and be gloriously indefinable!