I've been suffering from Writer's Block lately when it comes to my blog. Occasionally I'll think of things that would make great blog posts, but then I never know how to start them, or I'm not in the mood, or I feel like I can't quite form a coherent opinion on whatever subject it is I wanted to write about in the first place. And then I read Suzy's post about a recent article on Jennifer Aniston's anti-aging regime, and the pressures put on women by the media to look good, and all of that got me thinking about self-esteem.
I've never thought of myself as a particularly self-conscious person. Don't get me wrong; I'm still a girl, and when I was 14 and 15 I never thought I was pretty at all, and was constantly comparing how I looked to how my friends looked, and thinking that no boy would ever want to go out with me, etc etc, you know the story. But when I was 16, I finally got a decent(ish) haircut, I got contact lenses (which I had wanted for ages), and I generally just gradually began to feel more comfortable in my own skin. Pretty much ever since then, I've never been overly worried about my appearance. Sure, I still have days when I don't feel like I look that nice, but I think everyone has those days, and it doesn't really bother me anymore. In that respect, I feel incredibly lucky because I know of people who are cripplingly self-conscious about their appearance, and no matter how many times they're told how gorgeous they are, it doesn't really matter, because that kind of validation first and foremost has to come from yourself.
I definitely wouldn't want to go back to how I thought of myself when I was 14 years old, but self-esteem isn't just about how you look, it's also how you feel about things that you do. English was always my best subject at school, and I loved creative writing. I would sit at my desk with my hand-me-down laptop and write all sorts of silly little stories, or chapters of a book never to be written. And a lot of the time they'd never really go anywhere, I probably wouldn't show them to anyone unless I was particularly pleased with it, but I was confident enough to just stop over-analyzing everything I was writing and just...write. But now, at 23 years old, I can't remember the last time I wrote something that I didn't delete shortly after. I can't remember what it felt like to be able to just write without constantly stopping to re-read everything. It's annoying because I know that that's the only way I'm going to get better, but now I just don't feel confident about my writing, and I worry that I'll never be good enough. And isn't that what self-esteem is? Just feeling good enough?
However, if past experiences have taught me anything, it's that I won't always feel this way. Although I don't feel confident in my writing right now, I do feel confident that this feeling will pass, and that at some point in the (hopefully) not too distant future, I will be able to sit down and write, and just see where it takes me.
Song of the Day: Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
Currently Reading: It