Yes , self esteem . From wikipedia, it is a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth . Many of us have battled with low self esteem at one point or another . Many books , magazines ,programs and blogs have tackled the topic so I wont go into the scientific/Psychological facts . I will delve into my own story .
Growing up , I was a very out going kid. Topping my classes , favorite amongst many including my paternal grand Pa (who I almost swear contributed to 50% of the dentist visits, blame it on sweets) and my maternal grand Ma who to date still has the magic of producing the ripest bananas and avocados whenever I visit . I was a very hardworking kid too. I would do both “boys” and “girls” chores . This was a range from fetching water using wheelbarrow (at least four 20 litre jerricans per approx 5 km hilly trip) to cooking some of the sumptuous meals , my favorite being chapati . Despite all the activities , I never lost my petite self . My meat, as I love to call it, is my weapon . But then came High School ( I refuse to call it adolescent ) .
2004 was the year I first encountered battles with my self esteem. I was no longer topping my class, in fact in the first time i was in the distant quarter of the 280+ student class . I suddenly realized that as a woman , I had no hips, one of the flattest chests, a very scarred legs , more testosterone as nothing girly excited me . What on this earth was a boyfriend important for? I still ran to my mama whenever someone hit on me . I had the most crooked dental formula (by then my two upper incisors had “refused” to grow) . I always did Vaseline from head to toe, thanks to roll on that I bought for fun , at least I would remember to smell different once in while .
I never made it to “bff groupies” , maybe once in a while casual friend. Only got some one close enough a year later . But still had my insecurities . I no longer wore short skirts at home, with fear of exposing my legs . Long sleeved blouses were my best friends too . I started ramming through my mamas’ wardrobe and almost thought we could share a lot . The bigger the cloth, the better it was for me . In 2006 there was some talk, i still cant remember the speaker but i guess it was a CU meeting that I attended . The speaker said that we should identify something unique that we have and use it to know that you are blessed . Its funny what I picked on ; my fingers . I had one of the longest fingers despite being quite short then (around 4’8″) . I loved my fingers like ,I think, any woman would love her skin. Even the acne that had taken over my face was no longer a matter of concern. This however did not take away the fact that I stuck to covering my legs and arms . But it did boost me academically . Did I mention that I picked physics as an option of science subject having scored a D+ the previous term ? It was risky I know, but i wanted to prove to myself that i could handle it . I started working hard in Maths, the subject that I am always grateful to for making me realize that my life was not average . How good it felt to be amongst the best performers at Mathematics, not only in my stream but also in my form . This made me appreciate the potential I had in me but not anything to do with my appearance , which I considered nothing close to an ideal female .
I have gone through college with the same mentality about my looks . Too bad that the first man I fell in love in love with never spared bad comments about any of my physical letdowns . It was a 3+ years emotional hurt that i bore bravely . All along I can always remember how my Mum always stared at my teeth when I laughed and commented of how a replica they were to my dads’. This never helped that much either . I would feel it a mockery when a man hit on me . luckily in college, I had discovered that at least , I had curves, good curves . I remember putting on mini skirts in the bedroom (read knee length) and wished that one day i will put them on . Having been a Sunday school teacher for almost eight years, dressing is one thing i never taught my children . I would say dress decently but never explained what decent is .
My 22nd birthday was my turning point . I made personal decision to stop thinking i was less of a woman . I stared to embrace a changes, little by little . I shopped for my first sleeveless dress and a knee length skirt . I bought my first 500+ perfume. I did some 3 inch heels . Thats when I knew my Slow but sure recovery towards being the little Doris who loved herself wholly the way she was . I am not yet there but little by little , am better each day . I no longer see my scarred but some good legs worth showing off a little . I can do a decent cleavage now ( Oh yes I am blessed or well endowed as you may call it ) .
PSSSSST: There is this pair of shorts I put on and for the first time recently ,and affirmed I got good legs . There was generosity of compliments from both male and female .
LESSON: Low self esteem is all in your head and getting over it is withing your power.