Note to Self: I am Enough

by pauline rubio

Photo by Imani Clovis on Unsplash

Photo by Imani Clovis on Unsplash

So I got a really big dose of self realization lately.

One of my biggest insecurities was I always worry about how I come across to others. How I carry myself. I've always believed that I’m not pretty, tall, skinny, everything enough and that I need someone to feel otherwise.

I know this might sound a little contradictory, but while I like it when people compliment my physical appearance, on the other hand, I sometimes wish they wouldn’t. Because, here’s the thing, if someone tells me I’m beautiful, I might actually believe it. And then I’ll have to come back home and face my reflection in the mirror, and then I realize, I’m not as beautiful as people put it. Not as cute. Not as kind. Not as sweet nor adorable. And it kind of saddens me. Because I’m afraid that, while I’m certainly not the ugliest nor the stupidest or unkindest person I know, you know, I just fear that I’ll never be good enough for anyone I’ll come to love. So, somehow when people tell me I’m beautiful, every time I look in the mirror, and even though I strive to look good, I just get disappointed. When I see the lighting emphasizing my skin’s imperfections, scars and spots, my not-so-white teeth, my somewhat thick eyebrows, I just tend to get depressed.

Why have I written this you might ask?


I was browsing through my desktop pictures and I came across one of my elementary/primary pictures. People always seem to think that I’m this happy-go-lucky, “pretty”, positive type of girl. They always tell me I have this amazing life. But little did they know, I used to be bullied. For being not good enough. For being not pretty enough, not bright enough, not skinny enough. I used to think my life was a mess because my self-esteem level constantly stayed at zero, and I always felt like nothing and that no one’s ever gonna love me.

This was my early teenager self.  Nightmare. Felt like crap. Looked like crap (Still do but, ya know!).

This was during summer holidays before my first year of high school. I felt so horrible and then I thought to myself, I had enough of the negative comments from the negative people around me. That I needed to change in terms of my physical appearance and confidence. I needed to change. I needed to be good enough. I needed to be beautiful".

Few months passed and I somehow managed to change quite a few things. I went to see an orthodontist and had my teeth done, had my hair rebonded or keratin straightened, and for some reason, my skin got a little bit lighter by itself (or maybe because I was in the city at that time meaning more shopping malls, more cold places to hang out to and less sun exposure) and I managed to get thinner (probably because I also had braces. I had the hardest time eating/chewing even the softest of food).

High school came and for the first time in a very long time, I felt beautiful. I felt amazing about myself. My self-esteem level raised a little bit. My grades got higher and had few courtships here and there. Boys finally talked to me, in a good way, and I didn’t receive any more insults about my physical appearance from them. And that’s when I even felt more beautiful. I felt like I was walking on Cloud 9. I was so caught up by this whole “Boys-are-talking-to-me, I-feel-so-pretty” thing that I thought I needed them to feel beautiful. At a very young age of 13, I had my first boyfriend. I was so happy. I felt so amazing and I finally felt I was good enough. I didn’t care about what anyone else would think at that time, I even disobeyed my parents - my family - the worst thing that I could ever do. Because all I ever thought about was me. No one but me.

It took a long while for me to realize that I don’t need boys to feel pretty or happy. I was already pretty even way before they existed in my world. I realized that no one is going to make me pretty, happy or successful, but me. My first heartbreak with my first boyfriend made me realize this. It took me awhile to understand that only I can deal with the pain, and until I forgive the people who troubled me, I will never be truly happy again. Somehow, God saved me from myself and taught me self-love, and I will always be thankful for that. From the very beginning we are told to be more, accomplish more, and look better doing it. Should we fail in any of those categories, it can be so easy to believe that we have failed as a person. But then, as always, there’s God. A God whom has said, from the very beginning, that we were made in His image, as an act of love.

So many things have dawned on me, but that was the heaviest.

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling.
Beautiful in every way."

-Song of Solomon 4:7


about the author

Hi! I'm Pauline. Some people call me "Smalline" because of my height, but that doesn't bother me at all 'coz I believe good things come in small packages. I sing and dance a little (maybe I'm just hyper). My hands get a little itchy at times too so I pain or draw to accommodate them. I drink coffee 3-5 times a day which is just perfect for me so I could connect and have a good laugh with people, and conquer the world one day at a time.