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I have never been the biggest communicator. For as long as I can remember, I have been the shy kid that stands in the corner and watches as life happens. I’m not sure if it was due to a personality trait, or simply the social environment I grew up in, but I always allowed people to treat me like a push over.
I was always afraid to voice my feelings out of fear that I would be labeled a bully. I didn’t want people to see me as the bad guy, so I let them continue tormenting me in all manners they wished. I acted like it didn’t bother me. I laughed and smiled, and never gave them the opportunity to see me cry. I had to hide my feelings, because I soon realized that people prayed on this weakness and tortured you even more.

I let this go on for twenty years, until I woke up one day and realized that I too was using the same words towards myself. I had become my biggest bully. I always found an opportunity to breakdown my self-esteem. I teased, compared and insulted myself in ways that I started to deem acceptable. I called myself fat when I gained a few kilos, a freak when I didn’t fit in clothes at a store, and a cry baby at moments when I felt hurt and just needed to cry. I had begun to hate myself because I allowed society to tell me that I’m not good enough, and never will be.
After assessing the scars I inflicted, I decided that I had to stop. Surely I was made to be different. To be unique in every aspect so that the world could value me the way I deserved to be valued. I realized that I had to be my own support system, before I could ask anyone else to be. I had to learn to love myself with all my flaws. Accept that who I am can never be compared to anyone else because of the simple fact that we are different people. Through loving myself, I teach the world how to love me in return.

There are days when I get tired of being different, but I cling to the hope that tomorrow my difference will make me great. I learn every day to be my best friend and leave the ideas of society behind.

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Ros Limbo
mulemwa.limbo@gmail.com