Have you ever been bullied ? Or have you ever felt left out at some point in life? If yes, then you’re not alone! Because growing up, I never had the luxury of being loved or accepted by my friends. I was sent to boarding school at a very young age. Having brought me up single handedly, my mother always wanted me to be headstrong and thick skinned. And she saw boarding school as the best medium for that.

My boarding school was in the outskirts of the capital city of Kathmandu! We had the typical uniforms for school days and game sessions. It was only on sundays, that we got to wear our favourite pair of jeans, but that came with a price of pairing it with an ugly blue shirt that the school thought was perfect. Weekends were the only days that parents were allowed to visit us, which made me really sad and lonely. And as if school wasn’t hard enough for me to cope with my classmates thought it would be a great idea to make me the class clown! The average height of a Nepali male is 4 ft 11 and half inces and i was 5 feet 4inches at the time which automatically made me the giant of the class. And since I’ve always been naturally skinny, I was mocked at by all my classmates for being tall and skinny. While that may be a much desired aesthetic to most tween Americans, it was an unusual, amazon like aesthetic for Nepalese tweens. Therefore my official name throughout junior school and middle school was Bamboo! It felt horrible. I grew up feeling unaccepted, which led to most of my insecuritues.  I then transferred to a middle school in India. Now I’m not critizing Indians or weighing their enthusiasm in welcoming an exchange student from Nepal but I was mocked at for having smaller eyes and having a Nepalese accent, which only added to my insecurities and introvertness. And College in Aurangabad felt like being on the set of “mean girls”. There were different groups, each one of which was labeled and divided. Cool kids, nerdy kids, loners, musicians etc. I’m sure you get the gist. I hated groups.

So here I was jumping hoops, moving from one location to another looking for acceptance, familiarity, and warmth on the outside and there they were, throwing me out and putting me back into my misery. Then I moved to the United States for modeling. And no I didn’t look for acceptance here. Infact, I spent a lot of time by myself. I went for walks alone. I spent days in my room, without any outside contact. I meditated. Then I looked inward and realized, all this time what I had been looking for on the outside, has all along been on the inside. I questioned myself! I asked if I’d ever accepted myself. I asked if I had ever been completely comfortable with who I was or what I did, because if I wasn’t then i’d know that I cared about what other people thought of me and let it effect the way I thought and made decisions. And after months of confrontation I came to realize that I had never accepted my ownself! All those years of being bullied, mocked at, had a profound effect on me. It had shaped my perceptions. I was “not enough” for my ownself. I had found ways to critisize my ownself. Therefore I instantly came to a decision, that no matter what happened I was going to completely accept myself for who I was. I was going to love myself, find comfort in myself and not anyone else. I had decided that I was going to have a strong relationship with myself and trust my own opinions before paid attention to anyone else’s.

And since then I haven’t given a single thought to what others thought of me because I came to a conclusion that people who bully or make fun of other people are the most insecure themselves! They’re fighting their own battle and I for one don’t want to be dragged into it. Therefore I want to end this conversation by sending a strong message to all those who’ve been bullied in life. Discover yourself! Love yourself! Accept yourself first before you seek for it from others, especially from your significant others. And if you haven’t been bullied then find out what has held you back all these years. Look for your weaknesses and don’t be afraid to confront them. Because the sooner you’re aware of them the sooner you can find ways to solve them. And believe me that takes your confidence to a whole new level.

Let me know your views please, I’m always eager to know!

Love

Varsha