Sunday, September 11, 2011

Confidence Tales Part 2 - My Journey

I am a 28 year old girl-woman who is very confident in who I am and what I represent. This hasn't always been the case though. My teenage years were filled with plenty insecurities...I spent most of those years growing up with a childhood bestie who was the “hot girl” and although I loved her and still love her to death, I always felt like everyone was always comparing my then simple tom-boyishness to her ever glamorous self. She is the first born and only girl in a house full of boys and so her mom constantly laced her with all the latest baffs and she always had her hair done right. In addition to that, she was and still is a very pretty girl/hot babe and constantly had lots of dudes on her case. In comparison to her, I am the last born in my family who grew up with 2 older sisters and so majority of my baffs were their hand-me-downs (sidenote: I still insist that this is one reason why I love shopping. Maybe I still haven’t gotten over having my own stuff…or maybe I’m just a girl who loves to shop :-D). My hair wasn't constantly done, and I considered myself to be cute but in no way on my bestie’s level of a hot babe. And, from the way the guys flocked to her and treated me as their homegirl, it was obvious. I was treated like one of the boys, and most of the times if dudes stepped to me, it was because they wanted to find out about my bestie. Everybody wanted to get to know bestie and take her out, and for the most part, I found myself playing some kind of 3rd wheel. I remember one instance where her then boyfriend wanted to take her out on some kind of group date with his other coupled up friends and specifically asked her not to bring me along...
So in general, growing up with the hot bestie plus other random things made my teenage years (albeit very fun) also a pretty awkward and insecure time that I spent trying to fit in.

When I started University in Nigeria, my confidence picked up considerably. My dear bestie had gone off to start Uni in “Obodo Oyibo” and so I was out of her shadow and learning to do my own thing. I was a "hot" jambite and was having too much fun. But then, I got uprooted from all the good ol’ fun that I was having to relocate to Yankee, where learning to adjust to life here made my confidence take a major nose dive. I also lived with an Aunt who stifled the heck out of me and wouldn't even let me do things as basic as going to the movies. I did meet a dude but he quickly ended our short-lived relationship because he couldn't deal with not being able to constantly see and talk to me (my aunt's lockdown was epic)…then swiftly moved on to date another chick within 1 month (major confidence killer).

Over the course of the years, I got into a thing here and there with the male species but they would act out (in typical male fashion) and I would blame myself like “If I was hotter”, or “If I was more interesting”, or “If I looked like XYZ”…phew! Thinking about it now, I can only thank God that I’ve been delivered from that mentality. Looking back, I also realize that the common trend with me + men in those days was that I was constantly seeking validation. I was also very clingy and needy and these all boiled down to my insecurities. Once again, I thank the Lord for deliverance.

Around those trying times, my childhood bestie visited me in Yanks and I was still comparing myself to her like “Omg, she’s so fab and I’m so not fab”. This was someone that I had not seen in years and I couldn’t even be myself. She commented and said “wow, you’ve changed…you’re now so quiet”. And I was thinking “No, I’m not quiet, I’m just trying not to feel inadequate compared to you”.
Speaking of comparisons. All I can say is that comparison toh badt! I was very guilty of the comparing thingy, and I compared myself to everybody! I felt like all my friends were way more interesting or had more going on for them than I did. It was either that they were academically smart and made all kinds of honor roll, Deans list and what have you or they could dance, or they could sew cloth, or they could make jewelry, or they were known for having a cool sense of humor/being witty…ha niile. It was always something! I felt very plain, uninteresting and basic compared to them.

One more thing that took a toll on my self confidence was the fact that I graduated college a few months shy of turning 24. Most of my ‘mates’ graduated at like 22 so I definitely felt like I was behind schedule. It didn’t help that folks was always like “when are you going to graduate” like I was an old mama in college. When I’d go out to events, I used to dread the “So what do you do?” question ‘cos I’d have to explain that I was still in college as opposed to a professional like the rest of my mates.

Of course, there were other factors that subtracted from my self confidence and general sense of self-worth, but I won’t bore you all...

Honestly, I don’t know and can’t pin-point the turning point where I slowly began to snap out of each and every one of my complexes and stopped giving people and situations the power to determine how I felt about myself…but somehow, I grew out of that mentality. I quit being needy/clingy/and the need for validation from dudes and when they acted out, I stopped blaming myself and instead recognized that “he’s a jerk” anyway and me looking like the most beautiful girl in Nigeria or being XYZ won’t change that. I stopped looking at my friends and thinking that they had more going for them than me. How could I ever have felt “basic and uninteresting”…I must have been on drugs. I stopped feeling inadequate in all aspects and started to embrace the fact that we are all different beings. Like for instance, I can’t even compare myself to childhood bestie anymore because now I know that I will never be a fabulous type of chick but I’m more of “versatile” with my style and I dress as the spirit leads me. Sotay till today, some of my friends (including childhood bestie) say “Mgbeks, I love how you put these outfits together” or “you just be doing your own thing and you make it work”. I found what works for me/what I feel the most comfortable in, and I use it to stunt on heaux.

I also realized that part of being confident is realizing your flaws, accepting them and not feeling inadequate because of them. I also realized that you do not have to be perfect or live a perfect life to be confident. I’m still not a hot babe, I’m not endowed, I don’t consider myself to be the worldwide definition of sexy and I will be the first to tell you that I do not have game i.e. I’m not the kind of girl who dudes love to approach in social settings but when all my friends are getting numbers at parties and I'm dulling in a corner, I do not feel any type of way…I still catwalk up in that piece and do my own thing. You can’t tell me nothing. As stated in my first post, I don't have an extra-special type of job, drive an extra special type of car, or have any extra-special credentials. And in general, I’m not an extra special type of individual...infact as the years pass, my level of chill + laidback increases but I don’t feel inadequate compared to my friends who are more “interesting” or have more going for them be it career, smarts, talent or personality-wise. You get my drift?

So to summarize this extra long tori, I’m far from perfect and in the eyes of some, might not have a lot to be confident about but despite that, my self-confidence is pretty high and I’ll be the first to tell you that. I took me a while to get to this level and so I will gladly stand on any rooftop and broadcast to the world. Aint no shame in my "tooting the horn" game.

The end.

35 comments:

Taynement said...

Very nice post, and I can testify to all that you have written. More power to you jare.

Anonymous said...

Loved this! Happy for you...also. x

iphyigbogurl said...

like Taynement said... more power to you jare!

for people like us that don't come with all the "extras" ... and are confident to the T... #respect

confidence is a stain they can't fucking wipe off!

oops...excuse my french...lol

LohiO said...

I have told you before that you inspire me. You really do.

Anonymous said...

Amen to this post OM.... This is just great and inspiring... Lovely Lovely...

Ps: I may not "know you" but i can bet my last 10 Naira that you're definitely a special type of individual.:)

Great stuff OM..

Shadenonconformist

LE DYNAMIQUE PROFESSEUR said...

Nice... Loling at, "I am not quiet, I am only trying not to feel inadequate in your presence"

- LDP

doll said...

nice one!

Ginger said...

Mgbeks, you just told my story...I used to think if i die i will go to hell for envy. My bff had it all ...beautiful, dotted on by family, by our third year, she had 10 proposals as in serious cute guys, who came to meet her family oo, to my none. I still love her to bits but I've come into my own now. It took God shaa, believing that He created me specially and a lot of pep talks in front of the mirror :)

Toot that horn jare!!

Gochi said...

Totally Relatable.

Its good to know your at peace with yourself. Some of us are still working on us.

bob-ij said...

woop woop! I love this! A lot! It's so weird that I never felt compared especially given that I am a twin. I would say we are very lucky to be very different and bring very different things to the table!

Yell it on the rooftops! Penthouse suite sef! lol! Hottie and Proud.
*enters back into the house due to my fear of heights* LOL!

Very strong post Mgbeke! Message toh bahdt gan!

~x~

Splenda said...

Nice read, written from the heart

Ope Adebayo said...

Very nice post. I always feel very inferior and i have a very low self-esteem but i guess i need to build my confidence and realize not everyone is the same. I am perfect the way i am, YES i am!
Thanks for sharing.

Sugarcoated said...

and not every one would be so lucky as to overcome low self esteem during their lifetime...ouch. oh what needless pain we bear... atimes

Mwajim Al said...

:) This spoke volumes.

The experiences of an achiever....... said...

Mgbeks, I soo wanna hug you now!!
You go girl.. #gbam

stelzz said...

nice post and well said

Toinlicious said...

If you think you're ordinary, i must be Obama's long lost daughter!
Been wondering when this part 2 would come.

I've never really felt this but i can sooo relate. I'm also the last kid with 2 sisters and i love to shop (i've found an excuse when next they get on my case)

Life is just funny. Truth is, the grass is not always greener on the other side. This also reminds me of NIL's super heroes or super zeroes post.

Nice One Mbgeks, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

So Mgbeks,

The next post we shld get from you should be in November abi?

I really felt like I wrote this post, but in my case it was My younger sister that was/is the hot one while I remain the cute chubby one, lol. I remember one of the guys remarking thsat Zena no be girl nah, she's one of the guys


God I miss you, pls e-mail me rougestarzena@gmail.com

Zena

'Lara said...

like I always say to friends and the line on my blog. I am far from perfect and I do not even try to be perfect.

I understand and can connect to this post.

Self-confidence is the one thing that I have going for me and babe more power to you.

U know me na said...

hehe me too oh! I be old mama before I graduate (same age as you). And to complete grad school (part-time) just dey drag as well.

On a more serious note, you are a very remarkable person and to reveal so much about yourself on a semi-anonymous blog is a testament to your character. I think society in general pays too much attention to people who actively toot their own horns and not enough attention to the real gems that are beside them everyday.

I do encourage you to share your story with teenage girls as much as you can, if more "aunties" had told us that it is normal to feel average compared to the hotties and that we will grow out of it perhaps our confidence during those teenage years will not have been as low.

Check out Girls Inc. they have great low-commitment volunteer opportunities you can get engaged with.

Myne Whitman said...

very encouraging post which I identify with. Keep doing you.

mizchif said...

A whole popular G like yourself. Stunting on heaux all day every day beybey! But for true i always tell you i want to be like you when i grow up.

I like this post. If this were facebook it wouldget several thumbs up(s) I'm sure there's somebody out there who needs to get this message.

Anonymous said...

its sooo like u r talking to me.. mine is ma best friend, she is soo hot dat every guy wants her, they sumtims call us beauty and the beast. a guy i was dating 1ce told me he wished he met her b4 me. we left skool and she got a nice job but im still trying to get 1. she has a really cool car and i still jump bikes, i trying sooo hard not to be jealous but its difficult. i, working on it, thnks for this post

JustDoyin said...

Very nice post...very inspiring too. I hope a lot of young women and teenage girls get to read this.

Hyperfashun said...

i think you are fun and interesting. always have been. xoxo

chilolow said...

Its funny that all the comments say they identify with you but you probably felt like you were the only one that felt this way..its pretty normal for us to compare ourselves to people..i do it on a daily basis..im happy you were bold enough to admit it though not many people are, i guess the bottom line is accepting yourself for everything that you are..great post jare

Nutty J. said...

wow! who wudda thunk it...

You did good for yourself girl

Ms. 'dufa said...

Long post alert! Read it to the very last fuLlstop and enjoyed it all the way! I can totally relate. Its fulfilling to love yourself and 'do you' 100%. Thanks for sharing

Original Mgbeke said...

Thank you all soooo much for the comments! :-)
I'm glad that some people can at least relate with this post. I truly appreciate the feedback.

MPB said...

I really loved this post. Self confidence is more important than looks or credentials or whatever...One can have everything, but still be a nothing if they don't believe in their own hype.

Mia Farraday said...

Sooo, I love this post. Loads. Imitiation is the best form of flattery, yes? When I have a minute i'm going to blog some of my own confidence tales. I would never have done it if I hadn't read yours- I'm still battling some hefty insecurities over here...but I see the light at the end of the tunnel! xxxx

kitkat said...

awww i love how u didnt sugr-coat anything. I feel like everyone, no matter how hot or fabulous they may appear, has those little moments of insecurity, but as long as you dnt let it define you, you're good.
Its nice to know u came outta that sad phase..

Spiral Waltz said...

Gosh, you're such an inspiration. I really needed this post at this very moment in my life. THANK YOU!

And for the record, I think you are incredibly sexy and hot (no homo). I'm not just trying to gas you up but you have an innate something that makes you stand out from the crowd. I'd do you (again, no homo).

Uche (@UcheAnne) said...

Mighty good attitude to have. Well balanced too.

Northern Girl said...

Spoke to me on so many levels I had to re-read it two or three times.
Thank you.