Own Your Beauty Post: I Believe Because You Believe
Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one's self and influence the lives of those around us - our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.
I'll be turning 25 this year. When I look back to when I was 15 or 17 I thought T-W-E-N-T-Y F-I-V-E would be a major milestone in my life. I'd be making so much money I could walk into any store and buy anything that I wanted. I would've met that perfect guy and we'd be making wedding plans. I would have seen some really beautiful countries (mostly the ones with beaches). Also, I'd be rocking the most amazing abs. Life didn't quite turn out that way. And slowly and steadily I've learned not to make those Time Tables for myself. In my life I've learned to think the best of me, learned to think I'm beautiful, even though I may not be quite feeling it. Only because sometimes somebody else's faith in you is so strong, it is just about enough for the both you :) How?
1991: A 5-year old me runs into my Mom's room. She's putting my 1 month old sister to sleep. I'm jealous. I don't like all the attention that's being directed towards her. Mom knows, because moms know everything. And, of course I'm not doing a good job of hiding my feelings (19 years later, writing this post I realise I'm still not very good at that). I'm on the verge of a tantrum, and any moment a tear might slid off my eyes and roll down my cheek. How dare Mom not sit with me while I'm having my lunch. SHE (my sis) is the guest, I've been here forever! Mom looks at me and smiles that radiant, brilliant smile that makes everything OK. And she says, 'Do you want to hold her and put her to sleep? Look, she's so pretty, just like you.' I looked at my sister and it was love at first sight. In that moment as I stood in the same room with the two women who'd be the reason for my existence and sustenance little did I know that their faith in me will carry me forward and strengthen me. And it'll never change, for anything.
1995/96: I remember being 9/10 years old. Running around that small town called Riverside. Later, I'd know that this was the only place I'd think of when someone said 'Home.' That afternoon Mom's orders were that I had to let my sister tag along. I, of course, created a huge ruckus about how my 10 year old self was not ready for such a huge responsibility. Mom won that argument. But soon running around town I realised I kind of like having someone who followed me with such blind faith. And no matter how much I wanted I couldn't be harsh to her. You couldn't either, if you'd only looked at her innocent, beautiful face. And of course none of my friends had a blind believer! Anyway, so I fell down, on my face. And I was getting ready to cry my eyes out when I looked at my sis and tears had welled up in her eyes even before I could make up my mind to cry. So, I told her it was nothing. Didn't hurt at all. And we laughed about it. Her love and faith till date has not wavered.
2001: I'm 15 and my first crush ever left town without a word. It broke my heart and I thought I wouldn't breathe after this. My best friend of 13 years sat beside me and told me 'He was such a loser anyways, look at you, you'd get anyone!' Point was I wouldn't get just anyone. I was in that awkward puberty stage. But I believed her because she believed in me. I looked at her and I knew she meant it in a way only a best friend can. I said, 'For now, I'd just like to breathe normal.' Shippo said, 'Yeah D, just breathe.' That day we lay down on my bed and made plans about how things would be when we were 25. We were wrong about every single thing, except the fact that we'd still remain friends.
2008: The darkest period of my adult life yet. Stuff I don't talk about. But I remember lying on the cold floor and thinking that this is it. This is where I stop breathing. It cannot get worse. My girls of 2303 came into my room. Picked me up, put me on my bed. I told them I can't deal with this, this is the worst thing ever. Sukanya told me I was right, that this indeed was rock bottom. But, things only get better from here. Mitali chipped in - And anyway, I just asked the Ladies Oracle, you'll die after you turn 70. We all burst out laughing. We spent the night playing that insanely stupid Ladies Oracle. In the middle of it, Suku told me that if he can't see how beautiful you are and wants to do the things he is doing then it isn't worth it. That I need to drill some sense into my head. I believed them, because they believed in me enough to bring up that taboo topic. A month later I sorted things out. I was happy and I was breathing. Again.
2010: One more misjudgment. One more relationship had gone by. The day God said these are the people who'd make really bad decisions when it comes to relationships I bet I was the first in line. Anyhoo, just when I thought I wouldn't fall in love again, Mr. B comes along. I thought, this time maybe things will be different. But things are never how you want them to be. Because the Best Laid Plans never work. But I'm breathing and I haven't lost faith.
I've learned to never to doubt the beauty that's inside you or that surrounds you when things turn sour or when life has you in a corner. Being confident of who you are and what you can be is uber important. You're beautiful. Believe that. Because someone around you has enough faith and love for you to believe you are beautiful even when you're not exactly feeling it or looking it. I found beauty in my friends and family's love for me. Where did you find yours?