International Women’s Day – Trying to be proud of myself

Happy International Women’s Day to all my lovely ladies out there! Not too long ago I wrote a post about how much I admire the amazing women in my life. Thanks to them I have managed to still stand with my head held high today. I spent all day thinking about what to write on a special day like this, but I just couldn’t figure it out. So after a tiresome day at school with far too much calculating formulas and balancing chemical reactions, I decided to sit myself down at my favourite café and have a drink. While scrolling through instagram, one of my very good friends Mari (withlove_skandihome on IG, if you love interior with a Scandinavian aesthetic, you’ll LOVE her feed) asked her followers to send her 2 reasons as to why they are proud of themselves..

Now I have always been insecure about myself. I don’t consider myself to be particularly good or special, so just the idea of finding 2 reasons as to why I am proud of myself was a challenge. Subconsciously I just automatically connect being proud of yourself or liking yourself with being self absorbed, which is SO not true. I mean, I feel like many people should tone it down with the ”why is this happening to me, I’m such an amazing person” attitude, but liking yourself and being proud of yourself is a really good thing, a thing I need to learn!

So as I was sipping on my matcha chai, while reading her question, I started wondering.. Why am I proud of myself? What have I done that could possibly be considered something to be proud of? But then I got reminded of a conversation I had a long time ago. A conversation where I was bringing myself down, as I usually do when people point out something that I accomplished. And then it hit me. In my short 24 years I actually have done quite some awesome stuff, especially in the span of the last 5 years..

At age 19, right before my 20th birthday I was the first one in my family to have a formal education and got my degree as a Veterinary Technician. One of my proudest accomplishments.

At age 20 I moved to a foreign country, a country I still reside in today.

At age 20 I lost my mother to cancer and I remember telling myself that I wouldn’t survive this. Grieving alone, living far away from my family, is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I was convinced I would never see the light and that I would never smile again. Almost 5 years later I’m still standing. I told myself I would never marry or have kids if she wouldn’t be there to witness it, but I’m opening up to these ideas again. Time has kicked my ass, I’ve grown bitter and my skin is probably about 6 inches thick, but allowing myself to fall in love with people and life again is making me happier and softer again as the days go by..

I went from not being able to speak a word of Danish to speaking it fluently in under 2 years. Danish is my third language and I am currently following an education that is taught in Danish as well.

I decided to take a huge leap of faith by starting a new relationship last year with an amazing guy who lives in Finland. Last year I spontaneously booked a plane ticket to go see him and I haven’t regretted that decision. I vowed to never enter a long distance relationship again, but the heart wants what it wants.

But what I am most proud of is the fact that in just 5 years I have managed to overcome my fear of the unknown. I took a leap of faith when I moved abroad, learned a new language, entered a new education and a new relationship. If I would have told myself this 10 years ago I would have laughed.

I used to be this perfectionist little girl who preferred to stay inside and preferably lived home with mom forever, but circumstances have driven me to do the opposite. It took my safe haven, my home, my mother, away from me and forced me to open my eyes and live in the real world.

You never know how strong you are until it’s the only option you have. I’m living proof of that and I am damn proud of it, because even when all the odds were against me, I still made the best of it. My strength is my superpower. And even though I’m cringing as I am writing this, because I dislike complimenting myself, I guess I can pat myself on the shoulder for writing this, too.

What are your reasons to be proud of yourself? I would love to hear from you!

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My ongoing struggle with the feeling of not being good enough.

The past weeks have been overwhelming to the point of me barely doing what I love to relieve the weight on my shoulders and resulted with me having a migraine for three!!!! days straight. This weekend I decided to my hobbies a priority, those being yoga and writing! Be it journaling or writing on my blog, writing is therapeutic to me in ways I can’t even put into words.

The new semester only started a couple of weeks ago and I am already overwhelmed. With that, the creeping fear of not being good enough popped up again as well. My exams have gone fine so far and ended up scoring pretty okay too, which for me was a confidence booster. But this semester we got introduced to some new subjects. Subjects that I hadn’t touched for a good couple of years. So getting back into them was difficult. My class consists of some incredibly bright people, the type of people that are going to make it very far in life. The more power to them, I wish them all the best! But I can’t help but compare myself to them. Comparison is poison for an insecure mind. I know I shouldn’t, but I do it anyway. I have to keep reminding myself that a lot of them have been dealing with these subjects for a while and that all of these things aren’t completely new to them.. I talked about this with a classmate the other day and she reassured me that I have nothing to be insecure about. She also mentioned how impressive it is that I am taking these very heavy science based courses in my third language after only having lived in Denmark for four-and-a-half years. I hadn’t really looked at it from that perspective and for a moment I did feel pretty good about myself.

But this struggle isn’t exactly new to me. I have always felt that I, in a way, was beneath my peers. I couldn’t really tell you why, but I just do. I compare myself too much to others and I feel like I need validation a little bit too much. My fitness journey (which I will write about some other time) is a perfect example of this. I went from 100+ kilos in 2014 to losing a good 35 kilos in the span of 2 years, convinced that I would finally be happy when my stomach would be flat. Surprise.. It didn’t. Instead I spent 2 years obsessively comparing myself to other women on a similar journey, hoping that I could be like them. Obviously I would never be like them, because I am me and that is okay too. That is just one example though, I have many more, unfortunately.

I really want to start trying to be myself unapologetically. So what if I’m not a straight A student, or the girl with a big booty and stunning abs? I’m not exactly an uninteresting person. I emigrated at 20, I speak three languages and I’m learning a fourth one, I have weird hobbies and I’m working hard towards accomplishing my goals. This however, isn’t too easy to keep reminding myself of, but eventually I’ll get there I hope.

Are any of you guys out there struggling with the same thing, and if so, how do you cope with it?

Any tips would be so much appreciated!

– Naiyee