Friday, August 2, 2013

On Confidence:

This is my last post on Paper Hearts for 18 months, and if you want to check out what I'm doing on my mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I've started a second blog, A Little Courage. It's pretty groovy, so head on over!

But one last post on this blog, and see you on the flip side!

On Confidence:

Confidence is hard. Every girl gets that. (And I mean every. girl.) For me, the problem was two-fold. A) I'm pretty shy (and I used to be cripplingly so.) B) I was insecure about my body.
As far as body confidence goes, it took a while. I've always been built differently - I know people pooh-pooh that "big bones" notion, but I am built big. I'm decently tall - 5'8" - have broader shoulders than most of my guy friends, and big hips. Pack extra poundage onto that and you've got yourself one big girl. Although, to be honest, I've never thought of myself as a "Big Girl" - the girl who magazines advise to wear blazers to "skim their curves", the girl who shops at plus-size stores - I never, ever identified as her. And maybe that's an error in my perception - I am plus-size, after all; I wear anything from a size 12 to a size 16. Sometimes people - even people who love me - say things that make me pause and go, "Wait, AM I a "Big Girl"?" Not that there's anything wrong with feeling or being seen as one, it's just that that's not what I see when I look in the mirror. Does that make sense? So sometimes there's major cognitive dissonance.
Starting as early as 7th grade, I dieted, I went on workout binges, and regardless, I had days and sometimes weeks on end where I just felt fat. As a teenager, that's devastating. I don't know when the change happened, not all at once, I guess, but instead, little by little. By my senior year of high school, I had pretty good body image. And it just keeps getting better. (Yay!) It's a healthy body image. I know my body's flaws, you believe it. I think I might actually be, well, fatter, than I see myself as. But I just think, screw it. I'd rather be a "Big Girl" with incredible body image & self-esteem, a "Big Girl" who looks in the mirror and thinks "Hot dayummm," than a skinny girl without those things.
I have a strong body - thanks for the solid Dutch genes, dad. My build is a blessing. I love when people assume I can't do something because I'm chunky, or a girl, or both, and, guess what, I can. I love that I'm not weak, that I can do guys' jobs for them; I love being tall; I love being solid; I love having physical presence; I love my butt and my boobs; I love my body. I am happiest when I am treating my body right, when I push it in workouts and make it happy by feeding it well - not by starving it, not by dieting, but by being smart about what I use to fuel it. I feel beautiful in my skin. When no one's home, I'll walk around the house all day in my underwear. Being a size 12-16 doesn't mean I'm not beautiful, and it doesn't mean I have to see myself or my body in a negative way. It doesn't mean I have to hide.
Even if I'm the only person in the world who sees me as beautiful, I'm still beautiful. I know it's not science, it's not even logical, really, but to me, it feels right: I am sexy, I am beautiful, I am radiant - because I believe I am. If I am the only person who believes that, I've still won.

With that doozy out of the way, let's talk the type of confidence that isn't tied up in your body. And, let's be honest, this is a much more important kind, although for a lot of girls, loving your body can help with loving yourself as a whole. This is about feeling smart-funny-outgoing-warm-fun-WHATEVER enough.
Enough, that's the word, isn't it? That's the word that keeps us from loving ourselves, it's like a big bouncer at a club with, you know, Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence inside - happy, lovely, confident people. It's a club you want to be in. If we can get past "Enough", the whole world opens up. Enough is a comparison, and the worst part is that it's not even a comparison to anything real. It's not a comparison like: "Ugh, I'll never be as funny as my cousin", or, "I'll never be as bold as Beyonce". Those are bad enough. Enough is a comparison to an idea. "I'm not smart enough." Enouch? Enough for WHAT? Enough for WHO?
You've got to be enough for yourself. Once that hapens, enough doesn't matter anymore. In high school, and especially at BYU, where just about everyone is a verrrry dedicated rocket-scientist, I didn't always feel smart enough. Sure, I was smart. But not enough. But you know what the ideal "Smart" is? Like God-smart. That's about as smart as you can get. That's where "Enough" will take you, and guess what? Hard truth: I will never be that smart. You will never be that smart. True story. None of us will.
So turn yearning into gratitude. Be grateful - if you're smart enough to enjoy what you love to do, you're smart enough.  You're funny enough to make yourself laugh? That's what matters most; you're funny enough. Screw it if you're not outgoing! There are great pros to being introspective. Google it or ask me if you can't see them. Does it matter if you're not warm "enough" if the people you love know you love them? Not a whit. If you're awkward, look at it this way: when you do make a connection, you know it's real.
You will never be enough for an idea. Ideal people don't exist. But you can be enough for you.
As hard as it is to love others, it's even harder to love yourself. But your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you have. There are other massively important relationships out there - romantic relationships, friendships, familial relationships. Even a different kind of relationship -in my personal life, I find that my relationship with myself is helped by and runs parallel with my relationship with God. But all these relationships function best and bring the most joy when you are at your happiest, most confident best - when your relationship with yourself rocks. 
Confidence is not narcissism. Nor is it some kind of elusive magic power that makes everything wonderful.  Finding confidence doesn't necessarilymean you'll find love, find your path, find forever, constant happiness. It does mean this, though: All those things you're looking for won't be so missed while you're waiting for them. Confidence means that, like William Wordsworth said, you are "made for [your]self and happy in [your]self." Whatever you believe in and whatever you want out of life, knowing that you are a wonderful woman with the power to change the world will change the world. And you'll be tres heureuse to boot. Sounds like a win-win-win-win-win to me.

xxx and all that jazz,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Dear Watson

Sorry for being out for so long, babes.
And this isn't so much a real posting as, well, pictures.

When I was in the third grade, I told everyone that Emma Watson was coming to my eighth birthday party, and we were going to ride in a limo, and get our toenails painted - me and Emma Watson and all my friends.
A) I was obviously delusional but
B) She's totally coming to my twentieth birthday party.

All I can say is that if you're not dying over these impossibly cool pictures of Emma Watson in August's Teen Vogue, then we can't be friends.

This girl rates just under Audrey Hepburn and Amy/Tina (because I will never choose one over the other, and thus, they are one.) She's classy, she's funny, she's MAD gorgeous, she's a style icon, she's an icon of niceness and courage and humor and everything I think is good. I will take my cues for growing up gracefully from her, thanks vair much.

Anyways, I'm not obsessed, obviously.

Go ahead, fall in love with her all over again.
(P.S. Well done Slytherin, well done Slytherin -
Teen Vogue, this is a fiiiine feature. Do more gorgeous, forward-thinking shoots like this and baby, I will come back.)

(P.P.S. I've just found my new hair obsession.)



xxx and all that jazz.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

She's Just Being Miley

It's's not good, but I love it. (While it's not good, to be fair, she's still come a long freaking way musically.)

I just kind of love this crazy chick.

You just do you, Miley. You just do you.


xxx and all that jazz,

Friday, May 31, 2013

Watch With Glittering Eyes

Crushing On: John Watson's Style

I think Imma start a weekly (or, you know, whenever I feel like it) post called Crushing On:.
Tonight, I'm watching The Hounds of Baskerville, and just noticed John's EXCELLENT green coat. So tonight, we celebrate, obviously, the adorable, classy Martin Freeman as John Watson, but most especially Watson's excellent, "I'm just off for a walk in the country but then maybe I'll catch some bad guys" style. But really, I like it. A lot. And I'm still obsessed with that coat. Lots of not entirely clear pictures of it to follow.

SEE IT? It's good. Like really good. Think of all the fun ways you could dress that coat. Please & thank you, wrap it up and ship it to me stat. John Watson sold separately.

Sweater love. Awww bless him.

Crushing On: John Watson, unlikely style icon.