It’s amazing how just one person can really help light up your day.
We hadn’t seen each other in a couple of months, though it felt longer, and though we weren’t that close, it was nice to be in each other’s company and confidence. It was through our day-long conversation that I realized how much progress I, in reality, have made in terms of my self-confidence and maturity.
You see, as I have written before, I was always very easily swayed by others, especially by guys. I often strove to come across as the person I thought they wanted me to be, or to meld myself in someway to their interests in order to remain in their interests.
Now, this person I spent the day with happens to be a guy who I’m very much into, so to speak, and I guess you could say it was my first tester to see really how far my confidence in myself has come along. What an awesome feeling it was, to entirely be myself and who I am, and share what I believe in, openly, honestly and frankly, and be totally confident in where I’m going. It was my first ever Take Me As I Am moment with a guy.
You know, you spend so many of your younger years trying so hard to fit in. For me, growing up multiracial, it was an even bigger challenge; the majority of kids were always grouped off by race. Growing up and dealing with people so often trying to figure me out and categorize me, it’s no wonder I have formed this habit of being a chameleon and changing myself to fit in whatever situation I find myself in. With the exception of my close family and a handful of good friends, this has always been the case. And when it came to dating, forget it. I wanted to fit into whatever box I imagined the guy to have in mind when dating, not just for the sake of belonging but out of a place of incredibly low self-confidence and the very little belief I had in my worth.
This whole year so far has been an intensely self-reflective journey on who I am as a young woman and believing in my capabilities and my value. It feels so good to say that I’ve finally arrived at a point where I feel confident in showing who I am and sharing who I truly am with other people without a fear of rejection or judgement. People will continue to judge and people will continue to categorize, but that is human nature. The important thing is how I handle it. It has taken me years to understand this, but it’s no longer about trying to be how I think I should be according this person’s or this society’s standards. It’s about knowing my mission and having faith that my life, my experiences, they are all significant and to be shared with others openly, because life is about connecting.
Words can’t express how grateful I am for this realization, especially as I head to Spain. My sensitivity to issues of race have been increasing as I have been delving into my identity, and I have a feeling it will only increase when I get over there. Having come to truly understand my heart, however, I am now ready to move on to that next step of looking beyond our socially imposed categories and boxes, and connecting to the hearts of those around me.
P.S. And thus why sometimes even if you don’t know where you’re going with your writing, it’s important to do it anyway because it can take you somewhere you didn’t realize you were trying so hard to get to. 🙂