Growing up, things were hard for me as a little girl. Yes, I had a lot of friends, but when I got to high school I had low self-confidence and low self-esteem. I always thought that everyone was better than me, plus I come from a poor family so that added to everything. I thought people like me couldn’t do anything better than anyone. I once tried doing athletics, which I was good at, but decided to quit since I couldn’t afford the uniform. Then I tried netball, but that’s when everything got worse. No one passed the ball to me and practices ended without me touching the ball. I quit that too and decided not to do anything any more.

After school I would go straight home, do my chores then study, that’s it. I was tired of embarrassing myself. No one wanted me to be their girlfriend because I was tall, thin, and ugly, I guess. That’s what I thought and I mostly didn’t dress up to look good for some boy at school. I was always that student who was quiet and no one wanted to associate with in class. During oral speeches, well, I knew they were going to laugh at me until I decided to sit down, forgetting I was doing it for myself. Yes, I still had friends, but we were not in the same class, we met during breaks only. During break I never talked about my experiences in class, I preferred to keep it to myself, not knowing that was a weapon to destroy the me inside.

When I was in Grade 11 I joined a dancing group and that boosted my self-esteem a little bit because there was no one judging me or looking at what I was doing. People got to find out about what I did after school. They kept asking why I was hiding myself and my talent? I didn’t know what to say about it so it made me more shy. I stopped the moment I was in Grade 12 because I had to focus on school. Anything else didn’t matter.

I passed my matric and took a gap year. My dad decided to surprise me with driving lessons and during that process I sometimes felt like I couldn’t do anything, especially when I saw my high-school classmates. The feeling I felt during orals was the same I felt when practising. I didn’t believe in myself, I never thought I’d do something or stand up for myself. NO!

The next year I went to college. When I got there I realised that I was alone and I needed to stand up for myself because everyone would take advantage of me. I guess I needed to be alone in order to lift up my self-confidence. I even tried to apply for Miss South Africa with the self-confidence I had.

Now I’ve found myself. I was never ugly, just people made me feel ugly. I was never tall nor thin, just people made me feel that way. Now I’ve transformed and most of the guys I went to school with are pushing each other in my inbox. I came out in a very strange way; strangest way to imagine. All I had to do was move out of my parents’ house and be by myself in order for me to be the person I am.

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