Everyone has been so sweet to compliment me on my new pink hair. I often get this question, “Why did you decide to do it?”
I have answered with a few different answers. Stuff like, this is as rebellious as I can get. Or, I just wanted something new and different. But I use those reasons because the real reason why I decided to dye my hair pink is too long to talk about in the middle of the hallway at church while my son is squirming in my arms.
*update* in hindsight, now that I have written this whole thing out, there is probably a SUPER easy and short way to respond to those questions…but if you know me, I am not one for being concise! Haha, this is a really long blog explaining a short concept. But hey, I am just being open and honest.
So, I want to tell you the real truth. And be prepared…it will probably be a lot of talking and reflecting about myself. Ha, so if your not interested in hearing the inside of my brain, you better stop here.
Almost three years ago I had a huge epiphany. I WAS INCREDIBLY INSECURE! Now, granted I am still insecure. I have talked about that in previous posts, but my insecurities were way worse three years ago. I saw this insecurity in the way I acted toward people, or I guess I should say REACTED. Because typically, my insecurities take form in strong reactions to confrontation and awkward exchanges.
I am pretty sure I have explained how sensitive of a person I am, and recently I have learned that I am not really a “sensitive” person as much as I have a lot of insecurities. When I was very young, I was a crier. This initially wasn’t bad, and I believe I would have been able to manage myself better at an earlier age if it wasn’t for some other things that made me embarrassed and insecure and those insecurities prolonged my emotional instabilities.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, my insecurities got worse (for reasons I do not need to get into) and for that, I was never able to manage my crying and reactive attitude.
Alright, back to the point of this blog post. Like I said, three years ago I had an experience that made me realize how insecure I actually was. And not just that, but how out of control I was. I had been lying to myself thinking I was in control of my reactive behavior, but I wasn’t! Over the years I had led myself to believe that I was small, insignificant, a mess, and not even of the hott kind! I didn’t think I was pretty at all, despite the fact that I married a freaking movie star (seriously, my husband is gorgeous and so out of my league).
And this is the worst part: I did not believe I was worthy of love. Yes, I believed my family loved me, but I often placed myself in such a way that I felt I was not as lovable as my siblings and was a burden. Now, you should know…and more importantly, my parents and family should know, THIS WAS NOT THEIR FAULT. Yes, maybe they could have handled my emotional self better. But that is life, with anything, we could ALWAYS have handled things better than we did. My parents and family loved me, and did their best with me. And I honor them for that, and I appreciate everything they have done for me to help me and hear me and teach me and love me. Unfortunately, I, MYSELF, let the world and others tell me who was worthy of love, and I sized myself up against those standards and believed them.
On the plus side, because of my faith and my belief that God loves me and that I am his child and I wanted to follow his guidance, I chose not to stoop down to the worlds level and physically change myself. But I did let it tell me that I wasn’t good enough. That I was weird. That I was ugly. And because of those reasons, I could not be loved.
As time went on, and I experienced different disappointments such as break-ups, failures, and actually being told I wasn’t pretty or good enough. My insecurity got worse.
So three years ago, when I was pregnant with Cora, I was extra emotional and stressed because I was on bed rest, and I had this terrible experience that made me realize I had a problem. To be honest, I didn’t pin the problem on insecurity then, I had just realized I was not managing my emotions very well. But now I see it was all because I was insecure.
So, for the past three years I have been working on myself. I have been talking to family and my husband when I feel that reactive nature in me. My wonderful husband has been a life saver, as he is always building me up, never going a day without telling me how beautiful and wonderful I am and how much he loves me. I love him so much!
As I started to manage my emotions better, I found I was able to think clearer and see where my insecurities lie. I have worked on stepping out of my box, reaching out for friendships that I wouldn’t have done. I have worked on putting myself in others shoes and giving people the benefit of the doubt. I have tried to get out of my head, and recognizing that not everything is about me! That maybe that person, who seems standoff-ish is actually just shy, or introverted. Maybe, they want a friend. And maybe, the real reason why I feel like they are standoff-ish or “think they are better than me” is because I AM jealous.
I have worked on minding my own business. And living MY OWN life! Praying and asking God for direction, and not letting other people’s opinions deter me from following HIS direction.
I have looked my fears in the face. I was terrified to join the military, terrified to be an Army Wife, terrified to have my husband leave me. I was terrified to have a second child. I was terrified that I would have my son early. I was terrified to have another high-risk pregnancy without my husband by my side. I was terrified to start photography again. I was terrified I would be bad at it and see that everyone is better than me. I was terrified that I would fail. But I did these things anyway because I felt like they were the right thing to do.
And with doing all of this, my insecurities have lessened little by little. It’s been a two steps forward, one step back type of thing. My pregnancies are typically the step back because I am extra unstable and I have a hard time dealing with that. My postpartum experiences have been hard on my confidence as well. If you remember my previous post about my “postpartum” life, you will see that I have struggled with staying sane. I actually had a friend reach out to me about postpartum depression after that post and through a lot of different tests (thinking it was thyroid issue and all this other stuff), I finally hit a low point where I felt numb and not happy at all and the doctor sent me to a therapist and she helped out a lot. Initially, she diagnosed me with minor postpartum depression, and later, after seeing how well I was responding to therapy without medication, she mentioned that maybe instead of postpartum depression, I was just incredibly stressed. Who knows! But I have recently weaned my son, and between therapy and weaning I feel SO much better. 🙂
Anyway, going to a therapist has been really freeing and helped me get back on my track of building my confidence. As my confidence has built I have been changing on the outside. Wardrobe changes and hair changes and makeup changes. All these changes I have done for ME! That’s important to know as well. The changes are things I have been wanting to do but didn’t have the courage to do.
Ok I am finally getting to my pink hair….there was this girl I was talking to on Facebook (a fellow military wife) with pink hair. And I said “wow, I love that, I am not sure I could ever do that, I don’t think I’m cool enough for that!” Seriously, I love the pink hair trend, and I just felt like I was not trendy enough. And she told me how she used to think that also, and that one day she just realized how dumb that sounded! What do you mean, we are not COOL enough or EDGY enough for something! I can do what I want, and I can be as cool and edgy as I want! So she died her hair pink.
That really hit, and more importantly it showed me where I was feeding my insecurities.
So…I made the plunge. It was incredibly hard for me to do. I asked opinions, and went back and forth about 100 times. And between my friends and my husband who cheered me on to do it. I DID! And as dumb as it sounds, it has been so liberating! It has become this symbol to me of letting go and telling myself that I AM good enough, I AM lovable, and I AM the agent of myself!
So there you have it. If you have reached the end of this post congratulations…I hope your clothes are not out of style! And thank you for taking the time read it. I hope it helps someone else who might find that they are insecure. I hope this can help you on your journey to becoming a confident individual!