When I first went away to school, I was terrified to share a space with other girls because it felt vulnerable. I could no longer hide my insecurities. When I wake up every morning and my hair is greasy and tangled and remnants of mascara are smudged under my eyes, my suite mates see me. They see me after a long day of classes and they see me when I am practically sprinting out my door in order to make it to my class. My suite mates see the parts of me that I typically hide from the world—they see me as human and flawed, something that ironically most humans strive to be the opposite of. Although, having other people see my flaws is uncomfortable, and at times humiliating, it has taught me to accept myself, and also that I am not “more” flawed than everyone else.
This became clear a few days ago after walking into the bathroom/powder room while my suite mate was getting ready for bed. As I washed my hands, she said, “Don’t mind me, I’m just putting on my allergy medication. It’s actually kinda embarrassing, so I’m just gonna go.” She scurried into her room, and I began to remove my makeup.
Upon reflection, I realized that a moment that embarrassed my suite mate did not faze me. I did not care that she had allergies or that she treated it with ointment; I was entangled in my own routines, probably thinking about my insecurities. I probably felt insecure dozens of time while living with my suite mates (I have body dysmorphia, and tend to obsess over and scrutinize certain parts of my body), while they were undaunted by my imperfections.
I may never be confident, but revealing my weaknesses to others and understanding that everyone has weaknesses humbles me. I am not so grossly imperfect that I offend everyone whom I come into contact with. My “imperfections” (i.e. scars, fat, smudged makeup) are fairly common.