I’ve dealt with insecurities my entire teen and adult life. I’d always find myself on some sort of diet and wearing some sort of makeup, needing some sort of confirmation. These insecurities were so intense that they affected almost every single area of my life. Life is exhausting when everyday you wonder if you are good enough. It wasn’t until recently, when I decided to find the root of these issues that my perspective of myself changed.
I went back to my childhood. I pulled out an old diary that I kept from elementary school through high school. I realized that my insecurities began as young as 3rd grade. Bullying started in elementary school. Not feeling good enough started in elementary school. Almost every entry was about wanting to start diets, wearing makeup, finding a boyfriend, or how I could become prettier.
As I read through the diary, I began to cry. I couldn’t believe that little Brittany was worried about these things when I should have been worried about things like making the soccer team. I felt as though I was robbed of my childhood. But I refused to let that little Brittany stay alive in me today. I made it my mission to find confidence within myself.
I asked God why He let me feel a self-hate so deep at such a young age. Almost instantly the answer came to my mind. “You are going to help other young girls that are dealing with the same things you had to.” I didn’t know that in a few months that promise would come to pass.
I was already working with kids but a position opened up at a new school and I took it. This is where I realized that I had to go through the things that I went through to truly empathize with the students, particularly the girls. These girls were dealing with bullying, insecurities, suicidal thoughts, depression and some were crying for attention from boys. I made it my duty to sit down with these girls in a therapy-like session to make sure they knew they were beautiful and that they always had someone to talk to. In one exercise, I had the girls write 10 things they loved about themselves and 10 things they didn’t. Most of the girls wrote with ease the things they hated. One girl wrote 12 things in particular, but she couldn’t find one thing she loved.
I almost cried when one of the girls, who reminded me of myself, explained her issues to me and said that she wishes she could be more beautiful like “Ms. Brittany.” I explained to her that she is beautiful and that when I was her age, I went through the exact same things she was. Then I explained to her my own story and she began to cry. Knowing that I am making that kind of impact in my student’s lives is the ultimate reward for me.
I say all of this to explain that we all go through hard times in life. Whether you have childhood trauma, mental health issues, financial issues, relationship issues, or you’re mourning a loss; something beautiful is in the making.
So hold on tight and keep your faith strong. There’s always a rainbow after the storm.
xo, Brittany Kayla