I have constantly struggled with my self worth.
I grew up in a setting that wasn’t always encouraging. Some of the people I loved the most were the ones who cut me down the worst. “You’re worthless.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” I played these phrases over and over in my mind whenever I stumbled. As much as it stung, I turned these negative chants into the beat that kept me moving. The rhythm of these negative thoughts pushed me to go farther and become better.
Although I turned a dark thought into a positive, the constant reminder became ingrained in me. I struggle with seeing the value in who I am in a lot of things: body image, skill, talent, confidence. I push past the tormenting beat although in reality I’m simply masking the pain I’ve been carrying.
Now, don’t be alarmed, I have found peace. I’ve learned to love myself by allowing others to love me. I’ve learned to see myself through the lens of those who truly do love me. Unfortunately, that lens isn’t always easily obtained, and so I find a quick and easy alternative: Facebook.
Facebook has become my vice. I use it as a tool to quantify my self worth: likes, comments, tags. These things prove to me that people care about me when in reality I could just be another happenstance on a feed. Don’t get me wrong, some people do really care, but when I get “Happy Birthday” from people who hardly know me, it really shouldn’t boost my worth.
I also see the images of what is considered attractive. I try to be kind, genuine and humble, but a barrage of images of scantily clad men makes me feel like I can’t compete. I can be the nicest guy in the world, but I feel like I will always come in last next to Mr. Brawny, Mr. Clean, and Magic Mike because I don’t get the same woofs and whistles that they get. No, I’m not saying eye candy is bad, but when I break myself down because I don’t fit a mold, it’s not good for the soul (no chicken noodle included).
I feel like my reasoning behind leaving Facebook are multi-tiered. There isn’t a way to say, “this is why.” I know I’ll miss out on a lot because I’ll slip through the cracks. I know that I will become irrelevant to some folks. Some folks won’t “talk” to me at all through this break because there is no other media. I’m okay with that. I want to refocus on myself and the friendship that I have gained. I want to see who will reach out and who will simply let go. I want to see myself through the lens of those I really should be seeing myself through. I want to focus on smiling because I want to smile.