A few weeks ago, I visited my grandma and while we were looking at old family photos, I had this lump in my throat, added to a feeling, I never had before: I looked at these different Elisa’s, wearing different styles, in different ages, with different attitudes and I was torn between being moved and proud. All my life, I never really liked myself, I was always waiting for the days, when I would finally leave school, would finally start a job, would finally be someone...else, I guess. But while me and grandma sat on that couch watching the different versions of myself growing up, surviving different phases and becoming the person I am today, I realized how much I would love to talk to them.
Your nose always stuck in a book, spending hours and days on your bed reading, eating cookies, leaving crumbs in your beloved books. The time came one day, when Mom couldn't afford your hunger of literature anymore, so you got your first library card. And you were so young and tiny! You read everything the kids corner had to offer until you moved to the young adults stuff, and we both now: some of these texts were pretty disturbing and hard to follow.
But how it payed out! It happened so often that you were able to answer tricky questions in school, just because you read it in some book. You little nerd, I love you. It is hard for you to imagine how things will change or that you WILL one day for sure be an adult. Wtf, right? Also: watch your mouth!
It was not an easy time, growing up with this body that became curvy when you were still a kid. One guy in class called you Pamela Anderson. How much did you hate your boobs. How desperately did you wish for a surgery at the age of 13!
Mom and family tried to calm you down but there was no escape because the boobs were there and they were big. Of course you made it through. It was a rough time full of sexual harassment from men in all age ranges. It was disturbing, confusing, creepy.
Old men calling you out, a 14 year old girl.
Nevertheless, you were a bit problematic. So smart but so lazy. And so rebellious.
While puberty was an asshole, the hardest time was yet to come. I wish you would have followed and believed in these mantras.
Stop doubting yourself. Do you know how beautiful you are? You love to laugh, you are honest and loyal, you are clever, you are a good friend. You are interested in so many things, you wanna change stuff. You love the ocean, you care about the environment. Right now feminism starts blooming in your mind and it changes how you see things. This is awesome. You are awesome.
Stop hating yourself. Stop checking the mirror and seeing things that are not even there (yet!?). In some years, men will see you naked and compliment these curves. Because you are sexy and you will know it one day and you will enjoy it and the fun will just begin!
Stop comparing yourself to other girls.
You will never look like skinny and slender – we both know that – we love our red wine and pringles, and pasta and sweet potato fries and and and way to much.
Stop listening to stupid women’s magazines, media or what some random people tell you. A dude doesn't like your look or your personality? Boy bye; which leads to one of the best decisions you will ever make.
Leave this toxic relationship. Trust your feeling and intuition. You are not happy in this relationship, are you? End it. You don’t depend on any man.
Out there are amazing, lovely men who would be happy to treat you the way you deserve to be treated: with respect and empathy, with an ear for your sorrows, problems, fears, with actions, with sweet words, with great sex, with everything you ever wished for and yes, some even make you feel like you would live the cheesiest rom com plot.
There are adventures waiting for you. Hot affairs, fun dates, sweet kisses, dirty sex, laughter and yes, tears as well because that is part of the deal. Trust me/yourself tho: it will only get better.
Trust your own strength and skills.
How often did you stress out because of this paper for university? HOW OFTEN? And you always made it! And you also made it superb. Good job, why not starting to trust your skills, your capability, your knowledge?
Self-love is a process and I am currently in it. This is why I am writing these lines. You start reflecting yourself and the past person you have been and suddenly you realize: you are not the shitty person, you think you are or were. And in fact, you have never been. And this feeling is embraceable. Try to work on it. Try to keep it.
Things will arrange. Your friends are amazing. Your family is amazing. You have so much support. People really really love you. And you will fall in love. And it will be honest and deep. Maybe with another person, but hopefully with yourself.
Text by @elisa_presley
Read more of her writings on www.evil-erpel.de