Self Confidence Comes from Pain

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You guys, this one is going to be uncomfortable to write.

I’m talking about self confidence today.

Let me preface this post by stating that I’m currently in the most confident place that I’ve ever been in in my entire life. Like, ever. But I wasn’t always here, this is new territory for me and I’m in no ways perfect about having a confident mindset.

So, let me give you the backstory. I never really felt comfortable in my own skin. From day one, I always felt like I didn’t fit in and was constantly in this battle to try and mold and shape myself into someone and something that I wasn’t.

I grew up in a mostly caucasian town with middle to upper middle class families. While I was privileged in so many ways (that I am beyond grateful for), I never felt like it or I was good enough. I felt different, and that’s because, well, I was different. I was adopted from South Korea as a 3 month old baby, and raised by my amazing parents who are caucasian as well.

You can imagine the types of identity and image conflicts that I had here.

I didn’t truly become conscious or vocal about them until recently. For so long, I had this inner conflict that my “culture” didn’t reflect my appearance. It sounds weird, but please bare with me and forgive me – I am in no way, shape or form trying to come off as offensive to anyone! But this was completely subconscious. At the time, I didn’t have the knowledge or emotional skills to be able to verbalize these thoughts. So I stayed quiet.

So what changed you may ask? To be completely honest, meeting Billy really helped me uncover these issues laying buried within me. He’s my closest confidante and companion. I’m forever grateful for him. I truly think that we’re not in this game of life alone. It takes other people and other people’s perspectives, especially those close to you, to be able to identify things in yourself that you’re either a) unwilling to admit, or b) have blinders on and unable to see. But I also started looking within more. I became aware of the comparison game that I was constantly replaying in my mind. I became aware with how deep I was trying to cover this identity crisis up.

But, I don’t want this to turn into a post about my childhood or growing up, we’ll save that for another time. We’re here to talk about self confidence.

I truly started feeling comfortable in my own skin when I started embracing and loving my differences. I actually don’t know my full DNA or genetic makeup, I’ll do one of those genetic tests sooner or later. But I’m not dying to know. Why? Because I sort of love the mystery. I get asked all of the time, “What are you?” (which in it of itself grinds my gears because I think it’s one of the most insincere questions in the English dialect). I know it comes from a good place, but there are definitely more articulate and compassionate ways to ask someone that question.

Anyways, I sort of love the mystery of not knowing what “I am” because I don’t let a label or culture or race define me. I am me, and I love me for who I am.

I think a lot of it comes down to maturity. I think a lot of it comes down to being able to ask yourself the really tough questions. Being able to look in the mirror and finally accept yourself regardless of your eye color, eye shape, skin color or genetic body structure. My natural hair color is pitch black, my eyes are a deep brown and they scrunch up when I laugh or smile, I lack curves and have a very lanky and small figure. I remember one time when we first started dating, Billy looked me in the eyes and said, “your eyes are so beautiful”. I immediately started tearing up because I never felt that way and no one had ever said that to me before. These are all things that I used to subconsciously hate about myself. Ugh. That’s so tough to write. It really, really is. But it’s the truth.

I didn’t love the way I looked, I wanted to look like all of the friends that I grew up surrounded by and what my family members look like. But that’s not f*cking reality. It’s just not. I can dye my hair color a million times, contour the shit out of my cheekbones or my nose, but that won’t change a single thing inside.

It’s not easy to accept yourself as you are, but once you do… You will be free. I stopped associating my self worth with all of the external bullshit that we’re taught by society. I started associating my self worth with my heart. I asked myself, “How good of a person am I?” instead of, “How good do I look for this party?” I asked myself, “Am I trying to constantly better myself?” instead of “How can I look better than I did yesterday.”

It’s always my goal to be as open and transparent with you all as I can be. We’re all on this journey together.

I want you to feel confident in your own skin and embrace it.

I’m not going to reread this anymore, I’m going to hit publish in a few short seconds.

This was the toughest and most challenging blog post for me to write about but that means that I’m growing.

I love you all.

XO,

Emily.

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