“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin
You know yourself better than any other human.
Sounds simple, right? Why is it then that I find this so hard to remember? I look to others to tell me what I do well, how I look (or how I should look), and who I should become. When I need approval, I don’t even try to rely on myself. Instead, a friend or family member is sure to boost my self-esteem.
Or at least, that is how it has worked most of my life. A time arrives, however, when people around you belittle instead of charm, critique instead of comfort, and ignore instead of notice. Suddenly, you are forced to look at yourself in the mirror in confusion, wondering who you are without the words of others. Or perhaps, wondering if the bitter, nastier labels they stuck on you are the reality of your character.
Meanings Writing utensils – major and education/school Cat – stuffed animals and cats Mask – theater Pompom person – treatment Roses – name and love of flowers Books – literature Jade dog – longing to travel especially to China Glass slipper – Cinderella Crown – love of princesses Earrings – my love of those too Trophy – public speaking Cross – faith Movies – Lord of the Rings Shell – river by house and nature
A few years ago, as I battled majorly with restricting food, I came to the realization that I did not know myself.
Sure, words came to my head when someone asked about me. I was a girl, homeschooled until college, going to school to be a teacher, Catholic, etc. The facts of one’s life are simple to recite. However, they do not fully explain who you are. These are just a starting place that give a foundation for yourself.
When someone wanted to know more about who I truly was, I turned to the opinions of others. Anna Rose is awkward, sweet, naive, childish, quiet, obnoxious, and so on. I would never watch that movie or say that word. My willingness to work with children meant that I should be a teacher because that is what I wanted. Since I laughed at taunts, teasing did not hurt my feelings.