Epiphanies at Twenty: I’m a Hater

Yes I am. I’m a hater.

I’ve been hearing the word “hater” a lot lately. I’ve seen it on T-shirts, caps, in tweets, Facebook statuses, and Instagram pictures. Apparently, haters are unwanted people that get jealous, or even become hurtful, when they see someone else becoming successful. In Jamaica we call that “badmind”. Badmind is your friend who suddenly starts to talk badly about you to others when you start to rise up out of a bad situation that both you and that friend have always been in. Badmind is when someone you’ve known all your life, perhaps a distant cousin, steals from you some new item you’ve bought that you were not able to previously purchase. Basically, badmind is used to describe someone who is in opposition to you becoming happy and successful, or at least happier and more successful than he or she is.

That’s not what I am though. I am happy for people when I see them making a way for themselves. I admire people who have the courage and the will to start their own businesses or who work hard and go after what they want. I wish I could be like them. What I am, is a hater of myself. Pretty strong statement, but one that is true for many of us.

For me it’s beauty mostly. I grew up thinking that I wasn’t pretty although my mother and family friends would tell me that I was. I just didn’t believe them. That’s not what I was seeing. That’s not what I understood from observing people around me. I saw pretty people. And I looked nothing like them. They looked nothing like me. I noticed that they were always with each other. They didn’t spend much time around me. I noticed the people that did stick around me. Not me as a person really, but they were just physically there. The pretty people were together somewhere else.

I wanted to be with them, the pretty people. I wanted to be where they were. Now, they’re even more noticeable. They get a million likes on all their pictures, and their selfies always come out great. They don’t even have to do anything. Even if they’re not smiling, or deliberately trying to look cute, they just look beautiful in their pictures. I wish I looked nice in all my pictures.

People watching is also something I do a lot. I look at people, what they’re wearing, who they’re with, even how they walk. I sense their attitude, and wonder what they’re like, what their lives are like. I notice, again, that pretty people are always with other pretty people. How is it that they just stick to each other like that?

I always look at these people with some kind of longing inside me. Knowing I don’t look like them and thinking it would be nice if I did. I’m not jealous of them. I don’t hate them. I just…think…why do they get to look like that and I don’t?