Confidence is Golden

There is this photo I saw of my niece in San Francisco last night.  I absolutely loved it.  It exuded confidence.  A chill sense of confidence and beauty from within.

Yes, I'm biased.  She is my niece, after all.  But, truly, this girl has this honest and loving soul that reminds me of something.

This pic reminds me that we all have that inside of us.  We all have the ability to be that girl.  That girl who shrugs off the negative and always chooses the positive.

That woman who says, "Yes, I can do anything, but not everything."  Even though, we can't do it all, what we do is with all the confidence we can muster.

This photo reminded me that I used to be like her at her age.  I was once nineteen years old without a care in the world.  I just wanted to find love.  I wanted to hang out with my friends.  I wanted to just laugh the day away, eat Taco Bell because I didn't worry about calories, and listen to music too loud and scream-sing to my favorite lyrics.

Nineteen was the age where I discovered how fricken awesome I was.  I started really writing at that age.  I dressed the way I wanted and didn't care if it was a trend.  I danced like no one was watching.  I'd walk by a mirror and smile at the beautiful girl looking back at me.  I decided not to play the game anymore when I was that age.  If I liked someone, I let him know.  I didn't wait for him to get the nerve to call me.  I had this confidence that no one could stop me.  I felt that powerful braveness.

What happened to me that the confidence withered away?  Why did it stop?

I don't know how to answer that.  Life happened, I suppose.  I started to listen to others' commentary about me.  I started listening to the lies and believe them.  I listened to my grandmother when she said no one would love me.  I listened when my parents sent me to Peru to learn how to be a respectable latina woman.  I got broken and molded into what everyone else thought was best for me...how I was supposed to be.

It took a lot of years to learn who I really was after that.  I doubted who I was.  I second-guessed myself at every turn.  I didn't know how to blend in.  I just wanted to stand out and bring back that golden, confident nineteen-year-old.

At 40, the year I vowed to be brave enough, it happened.  I'm not saying that the absolutely confident girl came back.  Oh no, I'm still working on that.  I still care about fitting in.  I still care about watching my words, but something big happened when I turned forty.

I truly and fantastically became the real me.  I became an older and wiser version of that nineteen-year-old.  One day, it just happened.  I can't remember exactly how, but it was years in the making.  I became tired of pleasing everyone and worrying about what others - that didn't really matter - thought of me.

Don't want to be friends anymore?  Okay.
Don't want to have me be a part of the family?  Okay.
Don't want to listen to what I have to say?  Alright.
Want to preach to me that I need to lose weight?  Whatever.
Think that I need to dress like someone I'm not?  That's your problem.
Tell me what you think I need to act like? Ha!

And you know what I say to the haters?  Your loss.

That photo.

That photo did wonders for me last night.  It reminded me that although I'm not nineteen anymore, my teenage self is proud of who I became.  She's fist-bumping me.  She's screaming in my ear, "We did it!"  She's telling me how proud she is of me for not accepting the bullshit anymore.  She's reminding me that I was brave all along.

Confidence is golden.  At any age.  You get that sense that you have become who you always have been.  That light glows inside of you and you remember...

You are your own hero.

8 comments:

  1. Wonderful and amazing! I went through something opposite in terms of confidence. I had none of it when I was in my teens and little in my twenties. I was always insecure about my weight or my intelligence. I found that my confidence came from beating those insecurities and gaining a little knowledge from the world to feel comfortable in my own skin. Addr coincidence would have it, I wrote about the exact same topic today :)

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  2. First off -- love the blog design. Super cute, yet still simple.

    Secondly -- love this post! What beautiful words from one gorgeous photo. I actually recently wrote about not caring what others think too, and it's the most exhilarating feeling.

    So glad I stumbled upon your blog! :)

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  3. I loved everything about this post. I just started following you!
    Cheryl (www.sinceibecameamom.blogspot.com)

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  4. Love your post! Love you! Love the picture! Yes, I'm biased! Hugs!

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  5. I love this! Confidence is something I can always use now of, I'm more aware of that since I have my little boy watching my every move, I want him to be confident and an individual.

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    1. Hi Lindsey! Replying here because I couldn't find an email for ya! Thank you so very much for stopping by this space and telling me about how wonderful you are. Yes you are! That little boy of yours is so lucky to have a mama like you. You rock that confidence! Go girl!

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  6. I absolutely love this! I found myself thinking back to 19. I think that was around the time that I felt the greatest sense of confidence. I feel like that part of me is trying to come back...some days. Others---not so much.

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  7. Oh and I love that photo. Your niece is gorgeous!

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Hey Lovey! You're commenting! You just made me happier than...well, me with a Chestnut Praline Latte. (Yes, now you know what to order for me if we ever go to Starbucks - lol)