Offended - An Essay

by Lily Zhao

I was a sensitive person who could easily be offended. Almost everything in the world can make me feel humble, and I had no power to escape from that humbleness let alone to fight against it and win over it. At least, it's the case for the past 22 years.

To give me and my younger brother a better life, my parents had been out all these years just to make a hard living. It's often the case that my parents are not at home, I feel humble when others can be with their parents. I feel humbled when my parents get home to celebrate the Chinese new year but end up with endless squabbles. I feel humbled when I have no choice but to accept my mother's offer on clothes, my skin color is so dark that I have few choices on clothes, which means I can't choose the color I like. And my mother cares too much about me, maybe in her eyes, I'm just a little baby who knows nothing. She would never ask me what I like or what I feel, Even if I made it clear to her, to her, I had bad taste and only she can pick the right clothes for me, the situation is just the same on other things. I feel humble when others can always receive praise like "smart, handsome, beautiful", while what I receive is "my silly girl, my ugly girl" and so on. As a result, I am sort of introverted and have an inferiority complex.
In the beginning, I tried very hard to meet the requirements and expectations of the people around me. I worked hard to get a higher grade, I put on the clothes my mother picked for me and thanked her for her good taste, I tried to be friendly to all, sometimes to help others, I didn't care about my own loss, if someone treats me nicely, I would always bear in mind that one should return a favor with favor or more. 

Until something happened, I realized that I'm not a little girl anymore, I'm a free man with my own mind and thoughts, I have my own life, which is none of others' business. 

one year ago or so, I broke up with my ex, at that time I feel lost and depressed, that boy left me because I'm not beautiful. From then on I was not feeling good for almost half a year, and I began to hate my appearance. I began to accept the idea that I am not beautiful or I am ugly. I didn't even hesitate to believe what he said or told to me. That time was the worst of me. I tried hard not to recall him and the memories but all end up in vain, I can hardly focus on my agenda, living the day in my self-doubt.

Thanks to my colleagues, at that time, they comforted me in their own ways and warmed my heart. They make me feel that the lost is to be lost anyway, but what remains matters and that's what lights up our life. Though I still feel sorry for my appearance, I could accept the fact of that boy's departure and didn't feel regret for not holding him.
Then one day when I was browsing a website named Zhihu, a Quora-like website, I saw a question like this" how was most girls' real appearance without make-up, filter, or photoshop", and I post my photos under this question. Then I got many comments, some said they have the same facial features as me, some said I looked nice, at least it's not ugly, some said it's ugly to the extent that can scare someone...... at first, I would feel angry or sad about the vile or malicious comments, then gradually I could calm myself down. It's until that time that I finally get it that others' comments are none of my business, and my life is none of theirs. If anyone feels good by saying bad words about others, just go ahead, as he/she likes. After all, she/he is to be nothing but a stranger. I am the director, and protagonist of my life. No man can change that fact and no thing can stop me from being the real me. Some things may still trouble me, some people may trouble me, but as long as I don't care a penny about it nothing and nobody can offend me.