To be completely honest, me writing this piece is the pinnacle of hypocrisy. Because I somehow find fault in everything I am today. Yeah, I know. I don't love myself for who I am. But we're not getting into that right now.
I have always grown up surrounded by people. That always meant people telling me what a beautiful little girl I am and how I'm so talented at music. Now as an 8 year old, it was all the validation I really needed. Having your parents’ approval is one of the best feelings in the world, don't get me wrong. But that's not all that matters. Trust me. You have to love yourself to the same extent. It matters. I learnt that this year.
Fortunately, my parents are super proud of me. I'm the valedictorian of the ninth grade and I'm also a seasoned MUNner, an intern and a lot of other things. They've always been a constant support in my life. I'd also like to mention my friends who always have my back even though I don't deserve the love they give me. I'll always be grateful for the love and support I have received in the past. But this lockdown has taught me so much about myself. It's all so crazy!
For starters, I never knew I could enjoy formal debate this much. But keeping my newfound hobbies aside, I'd also like to say that I found parts of my personality I never knew existed. I found the sensitive part of my personality that's behind my constantly hard exterior. Behind that strong facade I put up, is a child that wants to give the next person I meet a hug and tell them all my problems. I internalize a lot of my emotions and they're all bottled up in my mind, waiting for an escape route. Sometimes I blow up and nobody understands why. Well, now you do. I've made friends that bring out the best in me. These people expose who I really am and have taught me to love and appreciate myself the way I am. They make me embrace and love all my imperfections because after all, I'm one in a million. They've taught me to love myself in ways I didn't think was possible. So thank you. Thank you for accepting me for who I am, teaching me that it isn't my job to be perfect and make the world happy. Though I hate how I do certain things, I could never hate myself. And that, is because of you. Thank you for noticing the little things. Whether it's the obsession I have with my "beautiful locks" of hair that I keep messing around with, or whether it's how insanely protective I get when someone or something bothers you.
And I'd like to say something to everyone who reads this. You are special. Special in ways unimaginable to you at the moment. You bring a unique light into this world that nobody else is capable of bringing. Everybody is different. Your uniqueness is what makes this world a nicer place. People love you. But it's most important to love yourself. You have to accept all the little things about you. The strengths and the weaknesses. Embrace them. Love them. Love them because they make you who you are. Nobody can change you. Love yourself because honestly, the only thing you have over everyone else, is yourself.
Author: Nandini Patil
Editor: Adwita Chaure