That Girl Is a (Former) Crowd Pleaser
"Girls aren't supposed to have hair on their knuckles. You need to take care of that."
I'll never forget that day. I was a freshman in high school, sitting in history class, when a boy I hardly talked to came by me and randomly said this to me. From that day forward, I was super self-conscious about it and would go out of my way to make sure hair wasn't there.
Did I mention that I hardly ever talked to this boy?
I used to care so much about how people viewed me. I was a social chameleon. If someone pointed out something about me that I was fine with but they didn't like, I would try to change it or downplay the fact that I liked it.
Looking back, I know this stemmed from not knowing me and not being comfortable in my skin. I wanted to be wanted so badly that I was willing to give you whatever you wanted for you to like me. That's not healthy AT ALL.
Once I realized what was going on, I decided that I had to change. I started to accept me. ALL OF ME.
The things I loved (my bubbly personality),
The things I hated (my tenderhearted-ness; read about it here)
The things I didn't understand (my triggers)
And the things that others had pointed out to me.
I had to be honest with myself.
The reason I needed them to like me was because I wasn't always a fan of myself. I dug and dug until I got to the root of it:
I was afraid.
Afraid of rejection.
Afraid of being alone.
Afraid no one would like me.
But I had to ask myself, "How will you know unless you try?"
So guess what?
I started speaking up.
I started fully embracing my likes and voicing my dislikes.
I stopped avoiding confrontation.
I stopped allowing people to disrespect me.
I started being Akira wholeheartedly.
Over the years I've had to tweak a few things, but no longer do I allow others to shape my narrative or view of me.
So as we go into 2017, I encourage you to get to know you. I look at the world as a giant gumbo pot. God created you to add some flavor to the world. Don't withhold it because your spice is too much for some.
You better tell them to drink some water.