so a stranger called me beautiful… now what?

I’ve always had self-esteem issues… but I don’t talk about it.

When people compliment me, I don’t accept it and even think that they probably just said it without much sincerity. Sometimes I even think they have an agenda because of the saying “flattery will get you places”…

Anyway, today was pretty bad. I woke up after a mere 4 hours of sleep and felt like less of a human being. I came out of bed after a thousand snoozes and looked in the mirror. As usual, I was displeased by what I saw. I began to shoot down myself with specified flaws, from the uneven pigmentation to the hooded eyelids that always made me look puffy. Afterwards I took a shower, came back and did my skin care routine.

Then I looked into the mirror again… “Okay… maybe I can work with this…”. So I messed up my hair to create a side parting, put on sunscreen and massaged my face. I put on a London style turtle neck with some culoids, sprayed some Prada candy and puckered up with some Innis-free lip balm.

For the final time, I looked at myself in the mirror… For a second, I felt prettier and happier but the longer I stared, the more I felt ugly while observing my face detailedly. Then a gush of throwbacks come pouring in, reminding me of the people who put me down and called me fat and ugly in the past. No matter how much I’ve changed for the better, I always saw the troll I was before.

But it’s okay. I still went on with my day and went to NCCS. When I got there, I found out I was gonna be attached to a lady who was a chines national. I said my greetings and found out she could only converse in Chinese… which was fine I guess because my Chinese was getting better.

As we were preparing… she asked for my nationality and said “你很漂亮。” which was “you are beautiful” in chinese. I shut it down with an awkward laughter and scratched my arm trying to shake off the anxiety from hearing that. She went on and said that she wasn’t lying and said I really was beautiful- ”我说的是真的。 真的很美丽啊。”

I was going to shut her down again but while she said that, she stared at me in awe and smiled. It was like she was admiring me as if she hasn’t seen anything so beautiful in her life. At that moment, I was sad. I was sad because I’ve always dismissed people’s compliments to be white lies and even felt uglier after that. I was sad because I couldn’t fully appreciate how beautiful I was even as she stared at me like that. I was sad because I’ve made myself like this.

For the next few hours she proceeds to say it more and stare at me the same way too. The more she said it, the more I felt at ease with her and tried to accept those compliments. She also got to know me and told me about her family. Towards the end, she asked for a picture with me and said it again :’). I swear my heart can only take so much.

Although she may never see this, I’d like to thank her. She may have done something so simple for her, but yet means so much to me. I’ve never felt so beautiful before. That was the most sincere compliment I have ever received from someone.

Hence forth, I decided to embark on this project to appreciate myself more often so that one day I may radiate a beautiful and pure energy that will inspire other people too.

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