Baggy sweater, cargo pants, sports bra - an every day armor. I spent my high school years shielding myself from the outside world with these clothes. I didn't attract anyone's attention, I slid by.
While my classmates were dating, I was training horses.
While they were drinking, I was becoming a black belt in karate.
While they were partying, I was reading and planning my future.
I did things in high school that make me proud. I knew what I wanted and went for it. I didn't love the way I looked and had wanted a boyfriend, but I made the most out of my life, which is important. I could have spent those four years, trying to fit in and get attention. Instead, I figured out what I wanted to do and did it.
When I moved to New Zealand, I met a friend who helped me pick out my first bra. When I moved into my first flat, I started wearing more feminine clothes. When I was ready, I began peeling off those layers of armor to begin a new adventure - dating.
I love the way I look, I love the life I lead, I love the people in my life.
I love who I am and who I was. I love how I've changed.
I have made so many mistakes but that is a part of me. I'm imperfect and loving it.
Loving yourself is an action - you need to do it, to make it work. Continue loving yourself by bringing more of what you want into your life. And if you need to hide from the world for a day, wear a baggy sweater.
This post is a part of the 2011 NOW Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival.
Check out how Annika learned to love herself.