I remember sitting in my Dad’s truck driving to CVS asking him if I would make friends in high school. He told me that the kids would be different at Blake and that I would be fine. I’ll never forget that car ride and wouldn’t realize that car ride would define my entire new chapter of my life. A chapter of acceptance and finding my confidence.
Before I started this journey, I had so much self-doubt and hatred towards myself. There was not an ounce of happiness or love for me. I had the lowest of low self-esteem. I took any opportunity to be alone and isolated from everyone. I would make excuses to get out of things just to stay home and away from people so they didn’t have to look at me. I’d spend several days wondering why I wasn’t pretty or why I was the fat girl in school. I would wonder why I was the one that no one would want to talk to. I would ask myself, “do I have to change to fit in?”
From conversations of my cellulite at the lunch table to adults telling me I shouldn’t eat that big of a sandwich in the cafeteria, to people in my face telling me they don’t want to see “all that” in a swimsuit so I don’t get an invited to a pool party (not like I would’ve had the confidence to go anyway). This is absolutely ridiculous I can still remember it this vividly today. Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and tell younger Cheyenne to stand up for herself – love herself more – and not care what others would think of her.
There was one thing that did always kept me going and that was singing. Singing was the biggest passion of mine and truly was my only friend. It didn’t talk bad about me, didn’t treat me wrong, didn’t tell me I wasn’t pretty – it just let me live.
I use to come home from a long day of no talking, a lot of self-doubt and sadness and I would just write. I’d write about how I was feeling and why and I’d turn it into a song. I kept a binder filled with sheet protectors and printed paper filled with songs I wrote – lyrics that defined my experience. I kept that binder safe. I’d pull it out whenever I needed that reminder of what I’d been through and that is was what saved me. That’s what got me through some of the hardest times of my entire life.
When I felt like I didn’t have a voice; Singing was my voice. When I felt like I didn’t have anyone; I had singing.
It all changed 10 years later. And here’s how:
I started the journey to confidence 10 years ago. To the day, 10 years ago, I decided I would change my mindset and start learning to be confident. It has been a long decade of self acceptance and self love, but it wasn’t as easy as it may appear to be. I remember the first day I went to high school, I knew the minute I walked through the doors, something was going to change. The air was different and I could finally breathe.
I had low expectations of being accepted, when I fully didn’t even accept myself. I remember going into classes and people talking to me. People actually wanted to get to know me. That came as a huge shocker. I didn’t know people would be the slightest bit interested in me because I hardly had any interest in myself.
I kept moving forward everyday throughout high school. Not telling a single soul what I had been through. I pretty much had acted like I had never been through any sort of bullying or confidence issues. I was living my true authentic life at Blake and I’m thankful for that experience. I was able to be myself. People loved my fashion and personality – people saw past the weight – they saw me. I was the Cheyenne I always wanted to be. It was the person I knew I was meant to be.
I stopped writing once I hit my sophomore year of high school. I didn’t need it anymore. I was learning, growing, and accepting who I was. Once I hit my junior year of high school, I threw away my binder of all the songs I wrote when I was going through my darkest times. It was the true start of letting go of the past and realizing that I have changed and grew confidence in myself. I finally was realizing I didn’t need singing anymore to be confident in myself. I didn’t need to write what was happening in my life because I was changing for the better. In high school, I learned to be free.
Learning to love myself was a whole different situation. It didn’t happen over night, and I found myself throughout high school still questioning if I was good enough or even if I was pretty enough. In high school, no one ever made fun of me the way I was fun of in the past. In fact, I can’t even remember a time where someone said something negative to me about my weight. Even though no one said anything, it was always in my head that I was fat, I was not pretty and that I didn’t love myself. Those thoughts started go away, as I continued on throughout high school. It wasn’t until senior year, I finally grew apart from my negative thoughts and started to love myself more. Learning to love the fat, the curves, and anything that made me who I am. Learning that every inch of me was okay. Learning every doubt I ever had in my mind was wrong.
I grew enough confidence to run for homecoming queen. That’s my biggest high school accomplishment. No one knew the whole time what I had gone through. They saw a confident girl, but they had no idea what was going on in the inside. Running for queen queen wasn’t something younger Cheyenne would ever imagine. The girl who sat at the foot of her bed crying and wishing that I could have a fairy godmother turn me into Cinderella or pray away the cellulite was taking a leap of faith by putting her face all over hallways for people to see.
In just a 4 year span, I was able to finally believe that I was pretty.
As I left high school, I was on the mission to complete my degree in Business Management. With a few dreams tossing around here and there, I was able to create a path for myself. Education gave me confidence. Learning gave me confidence. The accomplishments I made along the way gave me confidence in myself. I started believing more in myself than I ever had. I started to believe anything I could my mind to would come true. Any dream, any passion, any idea I had, I could make it happen. It wasn’t until I sat in my first class in college and the teacher said “write a essay about your life”. THAT, changed my life.
When I went into writing my story, I was finding I was able to write about what I went through in a different format, kind of like a blog. I found myself opening up more and really understanding what I had gone through in my past. I was thankful for this assignment. If it wasn’t for that English class on a Saturday morning, I would never had known there was a word I could use to explain my past experiences. That word was bullying.
I came to terms with the fact that it was all part of my confidence journey. Everything intertwined with anything. Things were finally making sense. That’s when I started to believe in myself. I started to learn that I wasted so much time focusing on what others thought about me, that I let myself go. I believed I was worth it. I believed I could do anything. I knew it, I just knew it was meant to happen to me. I knew that I needed to be bullied to get to this point of love and acceptance for myself.
I got A on that paper.
You may be wondering, why I chose to wear my prom dress. Well, the day I put on my prom dress, was the first day I said out loud to myself that I was beautiful. It took me a long time to learn to say that out loud to myself. I heard people saying I was pretty all time, but I never believed it. I didn’t believe it when people said it until that day. I remember looking in the mirror, talking to myself and finding out that I was beautiful.
As I progressed through college, I learned about blogging. I knew I always wanted to share my story with someone, even if it was one person. I started Blogs By Cheyenne and talked about my outfits, but only things on the surface. April 15th, 2017 would be the day I decided to launch my blog and would be the best thing I ever decided to do in my whole life. It wasn’t until one year of blogging when I started to open up and share my story. Even when I started to blog I realized I still had so many things with self-confidence to work out.
As I started to grow with even more confidence, understanding myself and learning to love all the parts of me, I found people coming to me asking how I gained my confidence. I always tell them it’s a long story and took me years to be where I am now. I found that even when I had the darkest thoughts cloud my head, I made it though.
I kept moving forward. I kept believing in myself. I kept making small changes in my mindset. Learning to love every curve, inch and fat – just accepting who I am. I didn’t want to change anymore because society tells me that I should be a size 2 and not a size 22. I learned to love that fact that I’m different and I’m PROUD to be different. I made the change in my life to be happy and love myself. I didn’t want to cry anymore. I had no more sad tears left to cry, just happy tears. Happy that I made it. I got through the hardest times of my life.
If you have ever been through anything like this. You are not alone. If you struggle with your confidence. You can gain it. You’ve got it within you, you have to find your passion and love for yourself for it to be released.
It’s hard to explain a lot of this when it’s practically everything I’ve ever gone through for hundreds maybe thousands of people to read. This is reason I started my blog – to share my journey to confidence. I wanted to share that I too, struggled with learning to love myself, having the confidence to wear what I wear, talk about what I talk about, and show people some of the most vulnerable sides me.
Today, August 2020, the decade of my confidence journey, I am the happiest and most confident I’ve been in myself and where I want to go with my life. I cannot wait to see what the next decade holds in this forever journey and road to confidence.
If you made it this far, you are amazing. Thank you for reading my story. There’s always more to the story, but I’ll save that for a book.
Until the next blog,