I stared at the mirror and froze because I’d almost forgotten how to apply a full face of makeup. What eye look should I go with? I had not blended a proper eyeshadow for months…
I asked myself what hairstyle I should do… Suddenly, everything about me shooting a video for my birthday felt ridiculous, foreign, and like a complete waste of time. I was also scared I wouldn’t have enough time because I thought of the idea so late.
In my head, I continued to criticize my body, saying parts of it were too fat to appear on film. I couldn’t even bring myself to research set locations that day because the thought of filming in public made me so embarrassed.
I glanced over at the clothing rack and questioned why I wasted money to rent those dresses and buy props. I began to second guess everything I’d already planned and the vision I had to celebrate me turning 30…
THAT, my friends, is the exchange of self-doubt and worthlessness that lurks in my head. And it is exactly how I’ve been living my life up until now.
Snapping out of it, I paused and remembered that if I was planning this shoot for anyone else, I would not be so insecure. I certainly would not be saying any of the horrible things I had been saying to myself.
So, why was it okay for me to treat myself this way? Why is it that I can never do nice things for myself?
It’s because up until now, I have had this martyr mentality where I sacrifice self-care in order to show up for my loved ones. I thought making others happy would make me happy, but it didn’t.
Thinking back to my twenties, my negative internal dialogues must have manifested themselves into physical ailments. I was constantly sick, weak, frazzled, stressed, depressed, confused, and a push-over. The past me was living for validation, attention, to people-please, and I was full of pride. How could I love others when I hadn’t even learned how to love myself?
Now, THAT was a waste of time!
The reason why this project is so important to me is because I decided in my 30’s and onwards, things are going to be very different. My present to myself this year is self-love, honor, gratitude, and respect. I am giving myself permission to enjoy it all, fully express myself, be over the top, and love every part of my body and soul.
I am giving myself permission to feel confident, sexy, beautiful, and worthy again!
To be honest, the whole journey of me planning, shooting, and editing this film was really challenging. I had so many excuses… I told myself I work a 9-5 so I don’t have enough time. I had asked my husband to be my videographer and felt like a burden. We had just bought a new camera and gimbal so learning how to film with it took a lot of time. I had also created such a huge mess in my living room from the confetti set and outfit changes that my husband and I were tripping to even move around. In addition, I take care of my father who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer so when he asked me on Sunday to go help him with something, it took all my willpower to renegotiate it to the day after. That night, I felt like I was letting my dad down and was filled with guilt.
I ended up filming my voice-over at 4:30 am in the morning after returning from my parent’s house Monday night. It took me nearly three nights straight to finish editing.
I say all of this to tell you, there were SO many times I wanted to quit, but I didn’t… Because I knew I DESERVED this. For once in my life, I made an intentional decision to put myself first because I matter. And only when I matter will the people around me reap the benefits.
My purpose for sharing my journey and this project with you is to inspire all the women who are waiting for permission to be free, confident, and empowered to just do it! In our pursuit of self-love and self-care, distractions will come up and we get to keep our word to ourselves!
You matter! Start now, start early, start late… Stop waiting and do that thing your heart is calling you to do. It’s worth it!
Watch my video here
- Ue Kan is a life enthusiast and passionate about women's empowerment and mental health. She is a lifestyle, fashion, and travel content creator on YouTube and makes raw and vulnerable videos with the purpose of inspiring women to be their authentic selves, love who they are, and have the courage to pursue their dreams. https://www.uevuekan.com/