A Journey to Self-Love
Updated: Jan 15, 2021
Hi Babes! Welcome back to my blog, how have you guys been? I hope all is well for you cuties<3. I wanted to do a blog post that many of you have been asking for - this one hits differently as I have struggled and still continue to do so in certain ways, let's talk about confidence. What does confidence mean to you? When do you feel the most confident? Is it when you have a full face of makeup on, a nice outfit on, your hair done or maybe just wearing your favorite pair of shoes even makes a difference to how you feel. Can you remember a time in your life where you felt the most confident, where nothing nor no one else mattered that was in the room because you were just focused on yourself? I can speak from experience I have felt it before.
A Moment where I felt the Most Confident: In 2018 I did something out of my comfort zone and auditioned for Nuestra Belleza Latina. It is a Hispanic show on Univision that has been out for years. I had always wanted to audition for it but as usual I always compare myself to others. "I might not be tall enough" "I don't have any boobs or a butt" "I can't sing, I'm not a dancer" "My Spanish is not the greatest they will make fun of me". I always had all of these thoughts which set me back from even wanting to take the first step of auditioning. Finally I decided to put all of those thoughts aside and go for it! I said what's the worst that can happen other than a no. I prepared for my auditions in less than 2 months, all I wanted to do was make my mom and her family proud. To be able to represent the country my mom was born and raised in for 14 years of her life. I began working on my runway walk and I also got someone to choreograph a dance that I can do as my talent. I had just a short 4 weeks to learn it, how quickly time went next thing I knew it was audition day. I remember not being able to sleep the night before I felt anxious, excited, nervous and happy at the same time. The morning of I had gotten my makeup done by my friend and soon after that my mom and I headed to Los Angeles for the auditions. We arrived around 4 in the morning so the waiting wasn't too bad. While we waited, I filled out the application, some news stations had arrived and then of course the first crowned NBL Alejandra Espizoza arrived and began to interview people in line. As all of this was happening I remember again being nervous and emotional I had a rush of feelings. I felt nervous because I knew my time to shine was coming, I felt emotional because as I was in line participating I looked over at my mom and saw how excited she was for me; I have never seen her so happy before.
My Mom and I in Line
Feeling like a star and with all of these emotions for the first time in a long time no one else around me mattered. I felt like the prettiest one there in my own way. I wasn't focused on any other girls that were there for the same reasons as me. It was all me and how I can stand out from the rest of them. I told my mom I aspire to be the Jessica I was that day of the auditions everyday. But loving yourself is not always easy.
The Lows that are My Reality: Have you ever been told something so hurtful you think back to that time and it's still so hurtful? If you know me personally you know I have always had a tiny figure, gaining weight is not something that comes easily for me. Growing up and having a very thin frame, people always assume it's the best thing because "everything" fits me, which isn't always the case. We live in a society where it's okay to tell someone they need to eat more but not okay to tell someone who is on the "bigger" side anything about their weight. The double standards in this are very high, people never see how hurtful their words can be. Ever since I can remember I have always been bullied for my size, people always use hurtful words to describe me in example like calling me chopsticks, twig, anorexic or walking stick. They would also make comments such as; "do you even eat" and "she needs to eat more". I can go on and on and on to be honest it stung deeply. Sometimes I wouldn't say anything to those who would say things about me but when I did, they would try and brush it off with a backhanded compliment like "oh no I didn't mean it like that you're beautiful" but it was too late it had already hurt my feelings.
Negatives: People may think I am in a positive space when in reality I may not be. Being bullied is something that can be hard to overcome, especially when you experience it to this day. I can be having a great day feeling my best, happy glowing and thriving and then something happens where it triggers my emotions and completely messes up my entire day. It's crazy to say or even think that a stranger telling you something tears you apart, and all though a lot of people may say don't listen to them or just ignore them it is easier said than done. My biggest bully happens to be someone in my family and every time they see me they say things to me like: "be careful out there it's windy today the wind might take you with it," "You're malnourished you need to eat more," "that's all you weigh? I would have thought you weighed 60lbs'.' It's funny to me because when this happens I just sit back and stay quiet. In reality all I want to do is tell this person off but how can I when this is someone I should be respecting.
On Topic: I remember being at a wedding and the bride's mom telling me something like "la Jessica como un gusanito hehe" "look at Jessica she's like a little worm." I got so bothered by that because this person has known me since I was a little girl. How can you not let comments like that affect you? They're talking about your appearance, something you can not control. What if I had health issues and I just couldn't gain any weight? Luckily that is not the case for me but it is for others. When I was 21 I was waiting for my brother to pick me up and as I walked into where I was waiting, a guy was coming out he said "that girl is beautiful but she is too skinny." Most recently I went to San Diego with my friend and I had on a cute yellow top I was excited to wear with my jeans that finally fit me again. We were walking around the city as we waited for our reservation when an old man with his two kids said to me what I wrote down below in my caption.
As I mentioned in the caption, that day I was feeling good about myself and then just the tiniest thing got to me. The car ride home I was sad, explaining to my friend how I had a rush of emotions, letting her know that all though I had a great time with her there that moment and those words had gotten the best of me. Yet again I felt like I would never be good enough for anyone.
Self Reflect: In October 2015 I wrote a letter to myself and God. I wrote about how I need to work on my confidence and that I know it's going to take time to get there. Reading this five years later makes me realize that everyday I get to choose how I feel and look. Although I am still not where I want to be, I'm glad I am not where I once was. Below is the letter I wrote in 2015.
"Dear God I know you created every human being to be their own person so that we wouldn't all look alike, I'm sorry I haven't learned to love myself yet, maybe that's why you haven't sent anyone to me to be in a relationship because you know I'm not ready. I am still practicing self-love and I know there is much more that I need to work on before I can let someone love me. One day I will be able to call myself beautiful, all I ask is when you feel and believe I am ready to be in a relationship is that the guy you send to me is respectful, loving, caring, honest, kind, outgoing has morals and knows your love lord. I ask that if that person becomes my husband with your blessing lord, that he is a great father to my kids. I want him to be the dad I didn't have and a good husband to me. I know with your love anything is possible. I know the day I have a boyfriend it will be a sign from you that I am ready until then I will keep loving you and praying for myself and my family. In Jesus name Amen".
How I've Been Building my Confidence: One of the biggest things I can say that has helped me the most during these times is going to the gym. I invested in getting myself a personal trainer because I knew had I gone by myself I wouldn't push myself past my limits, nor would I know how to do the proper techniques. I began going to the gym about two months after quarantine began, I can't tell you just how much the gym has helped build my confidence up. At first I began going to the gym because of my break-up and because I had lost some weight during that but then I realized not only was I starting to look good but feel good mentally and physically. Like I mentioned gaining weight is not something that comes easy but because of working out I have gained some muscle which has helped my weight go up. I love to eat but sometimes can get full very quickly which also makes it hard to eat enough food. Something that has helped me the most is making a meal plan and tracking my calories since I need to be taking more than I am burning. This has pushed me to better discipline myself because now I am on top of my meals and pushing myself. It feels good to release any stress out at the gym and all though I know I won't see the results I want tomorrow it only pushes me to keep going, and if there is ever a time where I want to quit I look back at how far I have come and remember consistency is key.
Confidence takes work I do want to say again all though I may seem super confident on instagram don't judge a book by its cover. I can assure as you have read above I struggle with a lot of insecurities and I try my best to not let it get the best of me. On my 'best' days I love to turn to fashion, picking up any outfit that is in my closet even if I am not going anywhere I love to dress up and take pictures. I call one of my friends or plan a day where we set something up and each take pictures of each other. Those moments are my favorite because I can look back at the photos when I am feeling down and remember that I am my own kind of beautiful. I hope if you are reading this you remember that everyone is different and is beautiful in their own kind of way, we all have struggles that we still work on but the most important message is not to focus on the opinions of others and protect your happiness. I have always said, you must first love yourself in order for someone else to love you. Although I can not control what someone tells me, I can control who is around me and how I will better react towards negativity.
Remember that it is important to be open about how you feel with people you trust and that love you, it helps to have that reminder and reassurance when you are struggling to love yourself. When I needed that love and reassurance, I asked some of my friends three questions of what they thought of me down below is how they answered.
My friend Jackie did not want to be on camera so she emailed me what she thought, the questions were: How would you describe your friend Jessica? What is something You wish she saw in herself? What is her best quality?
Here are my wonderful friends Liz, Monica, Stef, and Nayely. I love you all Thank you for your kind words<3.
On that note, I want to end this message to remember to be kind to one another.