Seriously though, why is loving yourself such a hard thing to do? Why is accepting ourselves so difficult?
Maybe it's because we spend so much of our lives being bombarded with images and information telling us that we need to improve somehow - our hair, our skin, our bodies - there is always something out there reminding us how we can improve physically.
The media/society are always telling us the right way to look and dress, how thin we need to be, how curvy we need to be, how tall. These things constantly being shoved in our faces remind us regularly that we are not good the way we are.
This is just as much a reality for men as it is for women.
We are always told what is good for us and what is bad for us, instead of us being able to figure it out for ourselves.
We are told that we need to go to college to be smart, then when we finish college, we're told that we have to have a great job.
Eventually we are caught in the cycle of always being reminded that what we are doing and where we are in our lives isn't good enough.
Why? Why can't we take five whole minutes out of the "rat race" and remind ourselves that we are lovely, we are good and we are enough?
I'm not saying that we can't recognize that we need improvement in some areas. For me, I'm working to recognize and accept the woman that I am. For someone else, it might be working on not being as shy, whatever.
I was raised by my dad (with plenty of help from my grandparents), so I grew up in a man's household: football and NASCAR and Hamburger Helper for dinner. I picked up a lot of "male" traits.
I like cars and video games and sometimes fart jokes make me laugh. There aren't many topics that I consider taboo to talk about, and I curse more than most Marines I know.
None of this is something problematic. It's part of who I am.
The problem comes when I let these parts of me completely take over, to the point that I act completely different when I'm around a bunch of guys as I do when I'm around my female friends. It's become such a habit that I don't realize I do it.
I had a hard time accepting the fact that I'm a woman and do "female" things: doing my nails and my hair (sometimes, let's be honest here).
I think I never gave myself a chance to accept and appreciate the parts of me that are womanly. (And I don't mean my physical attributes.) I always felt like emotions were a "girl" thing, and if I were going to be one of the guys, I couldn't have them. Which is wrong.
I grew up learning that being a boy was better than being a girl. Boys were easier than girls. Which is really no fault of my dad's, he was just doing what he thought was best. I don't fault him for that.
So because of what I learned, I didn't appreciate who I was fully. I never really learned to love myself completely, and be my entire, true and genuine self.
Yes. I do things like a girl. Because I am a girl. I throw like a girl, I walk like a girl, I hit like a girl. I have feelings like a girl. I lift like a girl. I run like a girl. I cry like a girl.
For once, I'm starting to feel like there isn't anything wrong with that.