Wednesday, February 6, 2013 | By: Brianna


While I was playing dress up tonight, I was thinking.  Just to be clear, yes, at my age of "over 20," I was playing dress up.  Though to clarify, I wasn't playing with Mom's old bridesmaid dresses or Halloween costumes, I was playing with my very own wardrobe.  That's right.  Sweaters and jeans and all those button down shirts that I haven't touched for a very long time.  This is not the important part.

The important part is that I was thinking.  Which is a dangerous pastime, I know.

But I was thinking (after all this suspense, your thoughts better be good, Brianna) that one of the best things I got from my recently dissolved romantic relationship is a mite bit of self-esteem.  I'm not sure when it started, but I'm fairly certain that after spending just over a year being told on a regular basis that I was "pretty," "cute," "gorgeous," and the elusive "beautiful," I either figured it was true or just started believing it myself.

In March of 2012, I had every intention of posting this as part of a blog post, and then thought better of it, keeping it as a draft:

"I'm insecure about the way I look.  I'm not skinny, I'm not fat, I'm just average.  I have this awful, seemingly eternal acne that I'm wondering whether it'll ever go away.  But I will be the last one to admit that I'm pretty on any given day because I generally don't think that I am.  Then again, the majority of the people that I know who know they're pretty are insufferable to talk to, so I try to avoid them as much as possible.  But I don't wear shorts because I'm uncomfortable about my thighs, and don't start on the love handles, they're awful."

As a woman in America, there's probably a lot to be said about the media and our perceptions of ourselves being tainted by all of that, but I don't really want to have that argument.  Because frankly, I don't know much about it.

My biggest realization is that when I look back on that post I feel sad.  Not because of how poorly it's written, but because I seriously felt that way last year.  Even when I was surrounded by so much love and affection from friends, family, and a significant other who never hesitated to compliment me.

Today I pranced around in the strangest combinations of my ordinary clothes, and I felt like a princess.  Sure, there were things that didn't fit, but that's life, isn't it?  We're going to grow out of some dresses and facades, and we're going to grow into new ones.  And I think a lot of the confidence and pride in myself came from the relationship that I had with that significant other.  Maybe I'm giving him (or the relationship) too much credit, but now that it's not a thing anymore, I don't really find myself thinking, "I wonder if someone'll think I'm pretty again," it's more of a "I'm pretty, so I'm going to have fun" type thing.  Don't get me wrong, I miss being told I'm pretty on a regular basis, like for real.  We should really compliment each other more often and mean it, because I'm not too sure we hear that we're awesome often enough.  Sure, I've got my insecurities, and I could use either a gym membership or the determination to get off the couch and do things...but I'm having way too much fun believing I'm pretty to let much of anything get me down.

Oh me?  Yeah, I'm modest too.

And like slam poetry?  Check out Kate Mikkai: Pretty.  I am significantly shallower than this sometimes.  Kinda like now...

"That's always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they're pretty.  It's like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste."
- John Green


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