28 September 2014

Be yourself: don't let others decide who you are

I remember when I was about 10 years old or so I was at a friend's sleepover party and a girl I had never met until that night told me at some point in the evening, 
When I first saw you, I thought you were a geek.
I didn't really think much of it and made a joke about how could I possibly be a geek, and that they wore big ugly glasses or something like that and continued on with the festivities.

Later my friend pulled me aside and told me,
I thought that was really mean what she said. About you being a geek. She can say mean things sometimes. 
She meant it as a really nice, sweet caring thing to say, to show that she was on my side.

But it was at that moment that I realized that I might not be ok just being me,that maybe people wouldn't like me if I was just me. Maybe that girl really did think I was a geek. Maybe she had intended to make fun of me. Maybe I was not good enough if I was just being myself. Maybe I was no good at all. This memory has stuck with me all these years and I can still picture it happening, how I was hiding behind the door giggling when this girl arrived, where I was in the house when my friend was telling me about what she thought about what that girl said. I think I lost some of myself that day. I lost my carefree freedom you feel as a child. I lost some of my essence. I had to be someone else. Someone better.

I want to claim this childhood innocence back. I want to be me again. I want to know that maybe as long as I aim to be a good, honest, trustworthy and honorable person, that I am ok just being me. If I stand up for what is right. It doesn't matter if I don't fit into the box people expect me to live inside of. I can't be perfect, no one can. But I can be me.

Something my grandma said to me last week really brought it together for me. She was saying how happy she was to see me and how she was sorry she wasn't so good at calling or texting or writing as she would like, and I said, "That's ok I'm not very good at that keeping in touch either."

And she said,
I know Amy, I know you. and thats ok, because we are together now and we can enjoy this time now and know we are thinking about each other and that we love each other no matter where we are or what we are up to.
And I think I have made a lot of people mad at me at various times because I am not very good about calling back or texting or emailing. I suck at it. I try, but it just isn't natural for me to keep up on stuff like that. I know its important, but I just can't do it consistently. But my grandma called me out on it and said, I know that you are no good at it, but I accept you anyways. Granted, it is probably easier for her to understand since she has the same struggle, but she accepts that that is who I am and that it doesn't mean I am a bad person, but just that I have a weakness and that is ok. It doesn't mean I don't still try to get better and keep up on it, just means I am not a complete failure just because I am not perfect.

If I do ever get around to writing a letter, I give it 110%. It is probably 3 pages long, and has cramped writing at the end to fit it all. If I do text someone, it means I am not in the middle of work or a conversation with someone else, and that I am committed to talking with the person I am texting for as long as I can.

But this is not about excuses or explanation, or justifications. And this isn't about my ability to write letters or make phone calls. It isn't about wearing the wrong outfit, being too shy at the party, or making a mistake at work. This is about every one of these fears I have had about what box people are putting me into since I was 10 years old and realized that boxes existed and that they weren't always good. Boxes that made me ugly, boring, stupid or incompetent.

This is about acceptance. If I forget and I mess up and I fail completely, the sun will still rise and set, and I am still me and that is ok. Maybe I am a geek. Maybe it doesn't matter. This is a box someone else is placing me into. They can try to put me there, but I can only be there in their mind. I can just hop out of the box and continue on my way, just being me. I have lived embarrassed and ashamed and fearful of others opinions for far too long. 

Living in other people's boxes, conforming to what they want you to be, is turning yourself into a robot. You are simply following programs others set out for you. You don't work well this way. You will either die and become a robot, or you will eat away at yourself until there is nothing left of you. You will grow to hate you. Whenever I fall into the trap of someone else's box, I don't feel good. I hate myself. I judge myself. I should have been better, I should have been smarter. I hurt myself and everyone around me when I get this way. I can't get better or change because I am fixated on my failure. Regain your identity.

STOP FEAR. BE YOU. You may surprise yourself.


  1. Good morning, and God Bless. I wish I had your insight when I was your age; it took me a very long time to realize this.

    Keep being you, and know that there is at least one other person out there that understands.


    1. Thank you for your kind comment, I hope I brightened your day!


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