Well I started the day like any day the past few months, scrolling through my email, laying in bed in a room that’s still unfamiliar to me. One right after the other, “Thank you for applying. We regret to inform you that we are moving forward with other candidates.” Growing up I used to be so terrified of rejection, going to great lengths to please others so that I would feel accepted, somehow worthy of their loving. Fast forward 10 years or so and I catch myself still craving that validation. It’s easy to feel unworthy in a world that holds its’ critical eye to you the second you make your entrance into this universe. Parents flock to their local pediatricians just for confirmation that their child is “normal”. If Little Jimmy has a hard time counting to 20 but his classmate Little Sally can count to 100, Little Jimmy’s mother is racked with fear that somehow her child doesn’t measure up.
As a young girl I searched for validation in many outlets but the majority of the time it fell on my father, who never was able to provide me exactly what I needed. Most of my childhood, my father was away on business trips or logging long hours at the office. When he came home I craved his attention, I wanted him to tell me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me, but he was just never able to muster the right words. I never felt enough for him, which led me to never feel enough for anyone else.
I have come to understand many things about the need to feel validated in this world. For one, you cannot expect someone else to make you feel worthy, that must come from within yourself. If you depend on others they will most likely fail you, not because they want to, but because it’s an insurmountable task to constantly validate another person. Two: we all have expectations of others, for me I expected my dad to constantly show his love and admiration for me, he couldn’t, not because he didn’t want to but because those abilities were not things in his toolbox. Maybe his parents never said those things to him or maybe he was scared to say the wrong thing. Three: society teaches us that there are certain things that make you worthy in life: having a job, a ring on our finger, the right body type, a nice car, a big house, the latest fashion. When we don’t have these things we feel less than, which may lead us to go on a pointless journey to attain stuff in order to gain some worth. Usually, when we get there we realize we still feel pretty damn worthless. The thing about the pursuits above is that they are temporary. You won’t always have the same job, a ring on your finger may feel great at first, but it doesn’t ensure a long fulfilling relationship, a nice car will eventually become an old car, a big house can become a big problem quickly. These things are just that, things, they will not guarantee happiness or a feeling of worth. So then begins the search of what defines someone’s worthiness as a person.
This has been a struggle for me, for so long I have fed off of society’s cues, but now I’m calling bullshit. I have sat there feeling empty because of someone’s comment about my lack of a 9-5, and I’m done with it. My worthiness does not lie in the clothes I wear or the title I hold, but who I am as a person. And who is that? A woman who loves wholeheartedly, basks in the feeling of putting pen to paper, has a passion for bringing hope and positivity to others, and someone who can make a mean spaghetti. Don’t allow society to devalue you as a person. You are worthy, you are loved, and you have so much to give to the world.