MY STYLE

One Woman’s Perspective…

29 August 2015

I was born a perfectionist.

And one of my earliest memories of my perfectionism was the habit of making my bed every morning as a child – something relatively trivial but which seemed extraordinary at the time.
As the years passed and even right into my adult life, I realized the inordinate amount of time I’d spend fussing over every wrinkle and crease. It just had to be perfect. Ask bae!
Ensuring my bed was perfectly made was a sign of something deeper. I started my day with perfection because I wanted my whole day, and my life, to be perfect. To be predictable. To be safe.

I craved predictability because I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. Although a bright student at school, my teenage years were fraught with the idea that I would be a chubby misfit with a “BIG MAMA A**” my whole life.

I craved safety because I was often teased by friends and family about how big my butt really was and how “physically different” I was to my teenage peers.
No matter how hard I tried to hide my imperfections (baggy jeans, big shirts, shapeless dresses), my body wouldn’t cooperate. The more I fought it, the more insecure I became.

I was ashamed. And regardless of the A grades and school achievements, it literally ate away at my self-confidence.

As I reached early adulthood and in particular, after signing my first job after graduation, it slowly dawned on me that the work of my life was not to efface all my imperfections but to let the imperfection itself become perfect.

One day, I simply decided to accept my body, just as it was. I would not try to become a zero size model; I would just be me.

Over time, something amazing happened. I became happier, more at peace with myself and inevitably grew a sense of pride in my achievements which lead to unwavering confidence in my capabilities.

My negative body image and the years of self-destructive dialogue in my head ceased.

Now, I know many of you are wondering why I’d even consider sharing such a private and intimate part of my life…of myself. But you’d be surprised how “coming out” on social media has actually helped me grow as a person.

I figure if my story can inspire or help anyone out there then I am doing something right.

One woman’s (my own) perspective of a few things I have had to consider on the road to self-acceptance :

Accept that you are imperfectly perfect

In my quest for perfection, the energy I spent on an unrealistic goal was ironically worsening my situation. Exhausted from trying to mask my curves I realized that they were and would always be a part of me and that I was fine just the way I was.
This realization allowed me to focus my energy on the blessing in my life.

Today I feel powerful and an unexplainable sense of relief and freedom that I’ve managed to apply to other areas of my life, especially work.

Risk exposure

Some of the most painful memories of being a “fat teenager” include the merciless teasing from my friends, the pitiful looks from strangers, and the demands of family to “watch my food.” Like what does that even mean? I was just a teenager, going through a million other problems, realizing I had little to NO control of the changes I was going through!

So, behind the extroverted, smarty-pants demeanor, I began to shut down, especially in my post graduate years. I fought my demons in silence, trying every method under the sun in the hopes that it would cure my heartache and make my “big bum” disappear! That was until the day I decided to speak up and admit I had a problem. As painful and ridiculous exposing myself seemed at first, I felt more and more empowered each time I did.

Over time, the unexpected began to happen — I stopped internalizing the looks and comments of others. I no longer saw them as a reflection of myself.

Let your imperfections change you for the better

Its naturally difficult for anyone to confront their imperfections openly and honestly. It’s always easier to see the downsides then the upsides.

In my attempts to draw people away from focusing on my “physique“, I became very cerebral and developed a passion for documenting my thoughts or speaking in public. Over the years, I’ve become an efficient communicator and have been given unexpected opportunities to demonstrate this “new skill” on an executive level. I’ve learned to develop my listening skills and am particularly good at aligning my thoughts. I am also a keen observer of non-verbal cues. When I speak, I feel my thoughts are clear, succinct, and add to my discussions in meaningful ways.

Let your imperfections inspire others

I struggled with this idea for a while. But if you think back to your favorite childhood fairytales, notice how the main characters rarely led perfect lives?

Through self-acceptance, I have been able to push myself beyond my comfort zone and fight for things I previously thought were impossible like leaving South Africa at the age of 19 to pursue my studies, start a career and build a life for myself far from my family and references.

Today I hold a double Masters degree, have a good job, promising career perspectives and rank amongst some of the top performers in my firm.

From the feedback I get from Instagram and my social channels, sharing my story has inspired other people struggling to overcome their personal difficulties.

Self-Acceptance is a lifelong journey

Despite all the progress I have made in my life, and the momentum I get from daily victories, the struggle persists, especially with age.

There are some days when I totally feel like a “fat-slob” because I’m either tired, stressed, or anxious about a deal at work. Sometimes self-doubt creeps back in. On these days, I recommit to my decision to not let my old demons and imperfection silence me. I continue to “dress my curves“, even on days when I don’t feel like it.

We all feel this way too from time to time, but know that it’s a part of the journey.
With time, you realize that it doesn’t get easier, you only get better.

Don’t let your imperfections prevent you from accomplishing your goals and dreams.
Don’t let them hold you back from living.
Accept them.
Use them.
Let your imperfections transform you!

Love Teekay xx

Wearing :

Coat (Vero Moda)
Dress (IVIVI)
Shoes (Mango)
Clutch (Louis Vuitton)

All images are Copyright©
Photos credits by Nanamybrass
Thank you for stopping by.

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Comments

  1. tlotlina

    29 August 2015 at 5:48 PM Reply

    so inspiring, exactly what I needed to read. I need to get to that place where I also embrace my imperfections. Reading this has definitely shed some light on how to do just that. Thank you so much for sharing Teekay, thank you. �

    1. Teekay

      2 September 2015 at 8:30 PM Reply

      Thank you my sweetheart. This is really the kind of impact I want to make. Not becoming narcissi super star, but real life motivators for real life people. I really enjoy our interactions. Thank you. xxx

  2. Torera

    30 August 2015 at 5:53 PM Reply

    Thanks for sharing dear. You are so beautiful

    1. Teekay

      2 September 2015 at 8:30 PM Reply

      Thank you so much. Sharing & Giving back is a big part of the process. xx

  3. Colleen Campbell

    31 August 2015 at 9:12 PM Reply

    Such a beautiful, and always thought provoking post. I definitely have some insecurities that I’m also dealing with in life, but I don’t think I have the courage to share them and perhaps I should – I tend to bottle it up and then I could spend up to an hour just staring out a window and thinking about them. I’m so happy you have not let your negative childhood experiences affect your adulthood in a negative way, my social media feed would be very different: much less inspiring! Thank you for sharing lovely x

    1. Teekay

      2 September 2015 at 8:33 PM Reply

      I can’t even begin to imaging that someone as delightful and sweet as you could have “any” insecurities that would prevent you from being your absolute best. Whatever they are, I sincerely hope you work through them. You deserve happiness and the best that life has to offer..especially freedom from psychological chains and a piece of mind. Blessings to you boo! xxx

  4. Anonymous

    4 September 2015 at 11:57 PM Reply

    I absolutely loved the post and I honestly relate to it.I’m currently in high school in SA and I face the “challenges” of looking more curvy (which means looking older) than my friends/people my age.Appearance-wise,people think I’m the most confident,self-content and happy person – not so true.

    Dating someone my age is obviously absurd,given the fact that I look older.So no one my age ever approaches me – even if it’s just a platonic thing.I know better than to measure my self-worth by how much attention I receive from guys (my age) but a lot of girls do – so it’s difficult not to at times.

    Besides the fact that I personally don’t like the idea of dating as a teenager (I think relationships are an incredibly serious commitment). Either way this situation leaves me outcasted. I hope I made sense!Thank you for giving me something to relate to.

  5. Mon Instant - My Moment

    3 October 2015 at 5:43 PM Reply

    Hi Teekay.

    This article is another inspiration that you spread to the world, and God knows we need more of this. I love how you put it honestly, genuinely, but never in a dramatic way. Your talk is always powerful and full of hope and energy.

    I believe in what you said about sharing a story in order to bring something to someone. I think that negativity lies in silence. If we put – or at least try to – some words on what we went through, then we already begin to move one step forward, and to learn something from our experience. It’s not always easy to be our own self, and often, especially when you’re different from the average people – be it by your body our your personality – people just leave you be, because they don’t know how to interpret your way, or they misunderstand your vision. In any way, we end up feeling like we’re stuck with loneliness for the rest of our life.

    But I want to believe. And by reading your words, it helps remembering that some people went through struggles and owned their place. Just moved on. Just made something bigger than what the dark thoughts were saying. And you know Teekay, by reading you, there’s always this light of hope that appears and warms me up beautifully inside my heart. So thank you for being that amazing, imperfect, sweet, strong and Human soul.

    God bless you. ♥

  6. pulengexpatliving

    27 December 2016 at 1:24 AM Reply

    Just stumbled upon this blog and I am in awe. You have a new fan. Lol. If it was a book I would refer to it as a page-turner but what is the equivalent term for blogs? I am truly inspired, truth be told. Keep up the awesome work.

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