Yesterday, was my niece’s 19th birthday and she just completed her freshman year of college away from home. Away for the very first time from her friends and family into a world unbeknownst of her.
You see, I have 2 nieces. According to my sister, she was blessed to have one who looks like me and another one who acts like me. Doubly blessed right, lol?
My oldest niece is the one who acts like me, but the only difference is she acts more nonchalant with a harder exterior than me, but I know it’s just a cover up to protect herself from getting hurt by others.
When she went off to college, I was excited as well as afraid for her. Excited because of the new world of possibilities that were becoming available to her, the college experiences, and meeting new friends from all over the world. I was also afraid for her because of her naiveté even though she’s very wise, being able to cope without her family, becoming an adult, and people “getting” her.
Getting her meaning her personality. I’ve always known I was cut from a different cloth. Oftentimes, we are both misunderstood and people don’t know how to truly read us. But the ones who we allow into our very close knit circle know that’s just us. We mean no harm.
We get our confidence mistaken for arrogance. Our leadership and willingness to help for being overbearing and bossy. Our visionary thinking for being over analytical and negative rather than being a big picture thinker and exhausting all of the possibilities. Our sarcasm and dry wit sense of humor for being rude when we are actually funny. At least in my mind I think so. Others do too.
There are times where we’re very talkative. Then, there are times where we just want to sit back and observe. We might go off to ourselves in social settings or we will stand up right in the middle of the conversation. If we go off to ourselves or don’t say much, we’re viewed as attention seeking, stand offish, or we must be in a bad mood whereas nothing could actually be wrong. Sometimes, we just want to be quiet or we will shut down for days not wanting to talk to anyone. It’s nothing personal, that’s just the way we are.
We are givers and givers of the heart. Our motives are genuine and it’s hard when people mistake them for anything else. We don’t expect anything in return. We just want the basic human qualities of being loved, valued and appreciated. We love by saying and doing. We are both loyal and loving to our friends and family. Hard exteriors, but hearts made of play doh. We don’t like to argue, being ignored, repeating ourselves, second guessed or loud, rude and obnoxious people. We state facts or what is considered as our realities, whereas people view them as excuses or justifications. Very prideful, we don’t ask for help unless we’ve exhausted all the means in which we could do it ourselves. Even still, it’s still hard in asking for help. We are both simple yet complicated women.
You can’t let others who think they know you define who you are. I’ve always been a people pleaser. That’s one of my character flaws. I just wanted everyone to get along, be my friend and sing kumbaya with me. I would be the first one to apologize to keep the peace even though my feelings were the ones that had gotten hurt or I wasn’t in the wrong. I hid behind my weight and used it as a barrier to hide all of my hurt and pain from the societal consequences of being overweight. The looks, stares, and the judgements. Overcompensating for what I viewed as me failing in life. I am not defined by my weight or my dress size.
As I’ve gotten older, I know that will never be the case. Personalities will clash. People won’t like you just because, the way you look, what you have, or won’t give themselves the opportunity to get to know the real you.
They will base their opinions from hearsay or a few casual encounters with you. You don’t have phone conversations or you’re not out with them unless it’s a group setting. Your interactions is mostly through social media and we all know how text can be misconstrued.
I’m not saying I’m a saint by any means for I do have my flaws and ways about myself, but who doesn’t. That’s what friendships and relationships are all about. Loving and accepting the good as well as the bad about the person if you find them worthy enough of sharing your circle. If not, there’s nothing wrong with being cordial or letting them outside of your circle where you allow them to be privy to some things.
That being said, quit apologizing to people for being who you are. The ones who are supposed to love you, love on you and support you will be there for you. Pray for the right people to come into your life. There will be reasons, seasons, and for a lifetime. My niece found that out this year in dealing with her now ex roommate. This fall, she will be a sophomore, get a new roommate, new classes and share new experiences. It will be a new season for her and she will be ok.
Be unapologetically you. There’s nothing wrong with you. It takes a lot of courage in being you. We are all perfect within our imperfections. Everyday is another opportunity to work on becoming a better you mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Start journaling. Find a new hobby. Learn how to court and date you. If you feel as though you need to talk it out or you don’t know who you are anymore because you’ve allowed others to define you for so long, seek professional help. Come from behind the mask of society’s stigma about mental health. Get the help you need.
Be comfortable in knowing who you are and who you are in Him. He loved you so much that He made you into His image. Christ is love. You are love. Now, show yourself some love.
Live and Be Well,