I've always been the “sweet” one, the one who is quiet and shy and polite. I won’t say that those who think that of me are wrong, of course, I am all those things but I’m also so much, much more. For as long as I can remember I have always had a fear of disappointing others or causing any upset or disrupting those surrounding me. I don’t know exactly where that fear comes from, or maybe I do, but I just don’t care to think hard enough into my past to figure it out. Because of said fear, I’ve always been cautious with how I present myself. Speaking politely, using proper grammar (or as close to proper as possible), never cursing or using vulgar language and so on. I never had an opinion that was purely my own because I was too busy trying to appease everyone else (and also because I am extremely indecisive). I simply smiled and stayed in the background as much as any given situation would allow. Over time, that became my comfort zone.
Through the years, I have encountered many different personalities and they’ve all been nothing like myself. I’ve met people who speak loudly, some (okay lots) who use curse words as much as most use the words “the” and “and”. I’ve met people who are not afraid to choose the least popular opinion as their own and fight for it despite what offense others may have because of it. Each of them have taught me that it doesn't always matter how other people are going to receive you as long as you are always giving them your “true self”. I’m still learning how to do that. I’ve spent my whole life in a shell so-to-speak and it will take time and experimentation to break all those habits. But I want to break them.
I’ve started doing things like speaking up when I find myself being treated poorly. I no longer take the reactions of others so seriously; of course, I don’t go out of my way to offend others but I also don’t censor myself strictly from fear of breaking an image. Although there are still things that I have yet to conquer, I find that with age I am gradually learning to let go of the constant fear that kept me from becoming (on the outside) the person I have always been (on the inside).
What I hope whoever reads this gets out of it is as follows:
1. Never be afraid to be who you are. 2. Don’t let other people be the reason you make certain choices. 3. Work towards changing the things about yourself that make you unhappy or unsatisfied. 4. An image is just an image. You are more than what appears at first glance.
These simple lines are really the only thing I'm trying to remind myself: "There's nothing wrong with who you are!" and "Just be true to who you are!" by Jessie J. from her song "Who you are". [youtube=http://youtu.be/j2WWrupMBAE]
Let me know if you have had similar thoughts and feelings, and if you have any tips for braving up and being "your true self" share them with us in the comments below! We can also discuss this on twitter! Tweet #BravingUp to @talichaj Thanks for reading my random thoughts. Until next time!