I am sure for many of you who have been following me on social media and those who have known me in person, notice my attitude, appearance and dressing have evidently changed in a short span of time.
Following could be many your thoughts about me while looking at a gym workout status or an ‘Outfit of the Day’ post,
“Why is she acting all smart after her trip abroad?”
“She has become so vain!”
“She’s probably struggling with mid-life crisis!”
“Now that she is married and a mum of two kids, what is she trying to prove at this stage in life?”
So on and so forth!
Well, this post is not to validate myself. However, I thought I will shed a little light into my upbringing, how I was until recently, what caused the change and how this change has impacted me for the better! And I hope this inspires someone wonderful out there who is struggling with poor self-esteem!
Clueless about Fashion
I spent the first two decades of my life in a little paradise called BHEL Township, Trichy, Tamil Nadu. It was a perfect little world – so much greenery, little houses, simple lifestyle, no television at home and no malls. We played endlessly under green trees chasing butterflies and catching dragonflies. My fashion sense was so poor that I didn’t even know that some clothing are meant for home and some for outdoors. I was not aware a ‘hawai’ slippers should not be worn outside. Up until high school I thought there was only one color in lipstick and that was Red. I saw a lip balm, lip liner, eyeliner and foundation for the very first time in college.
“To Look Good and Dress Well is NOT a mark of humility!”
I grew up in a religious community were it was drilled into our minds that any attempt to look good or dress well was a sign of PRIDE. Hence in an attempt to prove to those around us and to God our heights of ‘humility’, we dressed up in the saddest way possible and never paid much attention to ourselves.
With this kind of belief system when I moved to a bigger city for my college and came across youngsters from cities, dressing up and putting make-up, in my heart I began to judge them and classify them as vain. And not just that, I also started feeling I was not good-enough and ugly. In all honesty, let me tell you, there was never a single moment I felt I was beautiful!
Having said that, I never was a sad and depressed person. I was a very happy-go-lucky girl for the most part. Just that deep down I always felt inferior when it came to my looks!
This poor understanding even impacted the initial years of our marriage. Because I felt I was ugly, I could never trust Vijay, my husband’s, love for me. I used to think he is too good for me and deserved someone better looking.
“Marriage + Motherhood = Sacrifice”
Although I was under no pressure to live a certain way, when I saw the society around me – how women completely lost themselves and their identity in serving their husbands and kids, forgoing all kind of fun and anything remotely youthful, I assumed that’s how I am supposed to be too!
For ten long years I forgot who I was.
I forgot what I loved.
I forgot what made me happy.
I forgot what made me laugh.
I thought in order to be a dutiful wife and mother, I must forget who I am!
Two years in Sweden, changed me inside out!
My eyes of understanding were enlightened to the truth, “True humility is NOT thinking less of yourself! It is thinking highly of others and valuing all human beings without any sort of discrimination!”
Watching confident, caring wives and mothers, being themselves, taking time out for themselves and living out their dreams, shook me to a new kind of reality!
To see how serious the youngest to the oldest were about fitness and an active lifestyle, put me to shame.
- I have been working out consistently for the last seven months. To be honest, I am not doing it for weight-loss. I do not even check my weight. I just want to get into an active and fit lifelong lifestyle! I am so impressed with how much I am able to do these days – I can walk, climb and do so many physical activities with ease and enjoyment.
- I am enjoying dressing up, putting on makeup and feeling good about myself. I discovered that I deserve that self-love and attention, not to attract people, but purely for my satisfaction and enjoyment! And trust me, it such a fantastic feeling to stand in front of the mirror, approve and admire yourself!
Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.
Even Jesus Christ Himself said, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
- Being a freelancer and an entrepreneur, I am the face of my business. Long before many come across my work, they first come across me. I would like the first impression they get to be a reflection of who I am and what I do.
I would like my clients to look beautiful and feel beautiful IRRESPECTIVE of their age, complection, size or appearance. I want my photographs to exude joy, life, confidence and love. Unless I possess these, I cannot offer it to anyone.
- My early twenties were definitely one of the best seasons of my life. I felt so alive with no worries whatsoever. Today, just as I don’t check my weight, I have stopped counting my age. Call me crazy, but I have started to live life like I am in my twenties again. I have started to do things that are silly and fun. I would like to look and dress up like I am in my twenties. I dream and pursue my dream like I have got a whole life ahead of me. It’s such a liberating feeling to escape the clutches of time and live life literally my own terms!
- Lastly, as a mother who dreams of the very best for her kids, I want my actions to speak louder than my words. Be it my career, my fitness, my lifestyle or my choices, I want to show my girls that they can be anything they want to be. I want my girls to know that their mother ‘BELIEVED she could, so she did!’
“Looking good isn’t self-importance; it’s self-respect.” – Charles Hix