I have probably held nearly hundreds of roses in my lifetime between dance recitals, competitions, pageants, and graduations. With its deep red or blush tones, the velvety soft petals are given during times of celebration, success, and events. I remember attending a wedding during the late summer. I was young and didn’t remember much, but what I did remember was watching the flower girl toss rose petals into the air until they danced down and gently hit the carpet. Among the rose petals was another petal but this was bright yellow and twirling faster, beating the rose to the ground. The yellow, radiant appearance mimicking the sun, it was the Sunflower. During its bloom it is always a sign that summer is just around the corner.
These are my two favorite flowers. Both extremely beautiful and extremely different. I have never thought of comparing the two because it wouldn’t make sense. One symbolizing romance and elegance while the other is cheerful and warm. It would be insulting to compare two vastly different kinds of beauty, so why do we compare each other?
That seems to be the million dollar question that I do not have the answer to. We all have days where we walk out of the house feeling like we can conquer the world and then other days we can’t even look at our own reflection in the mirror.
I like to think of myself as the Sunflower. I have been told I can light up a room with my smile and my positive attitude is contagious, but more often than I would like to admit I want to be the rose; people with elegance, grace and whose beauty you can spot from a distance. Characteristics I don’t think I embody. Now people who know me would not agree with that statement. That when I dance I am a graceful ballerina with mile long legs and arms. But I see an average girl whose hips bump into every corner table.
Confidence is a ten letter word that is easier said than achieved. It’s taken me years to finally grow into my own and accept the things about me I cannot change. I used to see a pale, thin, unsure of life kind of girl, but now I am a woman still pale but instead of seeing ghost white I see delicate skin (that I now appreciate and take care of), fit, healthy, and taking life one day at a time. A Sunflower and a Rose do not look at each other and see which petals are softer or whose colors are brighter, they just bloom.
This past year I have learned a lot about myself and my confidence. You could say my confidence flower bloomed. In certain moments I feel confident and powerful like a tall Sunflower in a field swaying in the breeze and in other moments I don’t. There is really no such thing as one-hundred percent confidence, one-hundred percent of the time. Confidence has become another characteristic we are expected to be all the time and it’s not realistic. I am not saying confidence is bad at all, confidence is bold and empowering. Many achievements happen when we are comfortable and confident with ourselves. But my message I am attempting to convey is to embrace the insecure parts of yourself too. We all have them and we always will have them. Confidence should not be an expection but a standard to set for yourself because you owe it to yourself to be kind to every part of you.
Loving every ounce of you is hard and social media makes accepting ourselves very difficult. I like to think of social media as us false advertising our lives. If you’ve noticed we only put the best selfie on, the great hair day pic, or the candid (never-so-candid) laughing best friend photo because we want people to see our lives are great (perfect) and nothing is wrong. And I admit I do it. I am constantly scrolling through comparing my hair, my skin, and my body to someone else’s, it’s a dangerous habit we have formed. We want all the likes and comments we can possibly soak up on one picture. But things go wrong all the time, probably more often than they go right and that’s okay. I would love to be the tan girl but I am not. I would also love to have hips that don’t constantly bump into things but if I didn’t have hips I would not be the kind of dancer I am. Just keep in mind that social media is very deceiving and a trap I myself easily fall into.
As a Sunflower I know I will never be a Rose and if you’re a Rose you will never be a Sunflower. It’s a waste of time to compare the two because the only trait they share is they’re both plants. But the two shine brighter together side by side in a bouquet. My two favorite flowers in the world will never be like each other. Us, as people will never be like each other and why would we want to be?