We’ve all encountered the green monster — jealousy. It’s the not-so-nice feeling that makes you turn on someone to ease your insecurities. After meeting it one too many times, I’ve decided to embrace self-love.
I can pinpoint exactly when I’ve felt this ugly feeling.
Like the time the person I was deeply in love with fell for someone else. Or when somebody points out that I am short as if that was a bad thing. Maybe even the time when my grades plummeted due to anxiety and I felt like I was going to be left behind by my classmates.
I felt I would never be enough, despite the time and effort that I have invested in myself, because someone would always be “better than me.”
I became my enemy by comparing my physical appearance, success and image to others’.
There’s been many times when I wished I weren’t me. I wished I were something more — prettier, smarter and taller.
That’s when the problems began.
No, I wasn’t jealous in the way high school movies portray jealousy, where someone deliberately sabotages someone else with the intent of ruining their reputation. It was much worse than that.
I was jealous to the extent that I hated myself and wanted to change every single thing about me.
Because I was so fixated on my perceived shortcomings and what was “ugly” about me, I slowly began to project my insecurities onto other people as well. Since I was so self-conscious about how I looked, I would actively look for flaws in other people and then label them as bad.
Of course, when you place someone under a negative light, that changes how you feel and act towards them.
When the person I liked had their eyes set on someone else, I began to mold myself to fit their type. In this failed attempt to gain that person’s heart, I developed a serious distaste for the girl they liked, despite not knowing her.
This led to a journey of vanity. From purchasing clothes and shoes that my budget did not agree with to following an intense fitness regime — all for the sake of looking “good.”
Somewhere along the way, while constantly looking at myself in the mirror, something changed.
Maybe it happened when I was focusing on properly blending my eyeshadow and achieving a particular look. Or the time that I hit a personal best while lifting weights. Or maybe it was when I started to get better marks after dedicatedly studying. Whatever it was, my confidence shot up every time.
Although my initial motivation came from a bruised ego, I am now moving forward to a place of self-love. Before I knew it, the ugly green monster in my head screaming that I would never be enough disappeared.
If I could go back in time, I would give myself the chance to love myself and not expect someone else to do it for me. I would work on internalizing that yes, I am small — and I am beautiful. Every time I fell down, I would take the full day to completely feel my emotions, dust myself off and get back up stronger the next morning. I know I can’t go back in time, so I take these as the lessons I’ve learned.
So friends, always remember, the green monster can be cured with self-love.
This op-ed was written by a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student and reflects the views and opinions of the writer. If you would like to write a reply, please email email@example.com. Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro is a second-year undergraduate student studying biomedical sciences and is the Culture Editor at The Sheaf Publishing Society.
Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro | Culture Editor
Graphic: Akshara Dash