I handed myself a resume the other day. One I thought was really, really good. I was praising myself and giving myself all the accolades. I was stern in my thoughts and abilities. I knew my skills. I knew what I had to offer any job that I came across. And then the next minute, I found myself sitting there, tearing apart my dream job and my dream resume because I thought I wasn’t good enough. I had been rejected at least 52 times in the last two months and I was so…tired.
This little girl walked up to me once. She had the brightest blue hair I had ever seen and her lips were like a weird shade of pink. It took me a moment to realize she had put on enough lipstick to shade all of the lips of all of the little girls in the world but she was proud of herself. I could tell.
She looked up at me with her bright lips and said “maam, could you sign my shirt?” I was extremely confused. I took a moment before responding. “Um…why?” She said, “because you look famous and I want you to sign something so that when you are, I can tell everybody I had your signature first.”
I was instantly annoyed with her. Little girl. Don’t you see me over here trying to tear myself apart and you’re just going to come up here and tell me I’m famous!? I’m not famous. I will never be famous. I will not sign your shirt. I thought these things but the look on her face was convincing. So I signed her shirt. She said thanks and bopped away like the world was a huge trampoline and she had unlimited hopes.
I’m not saying she’s right or anything. But in the case that she is. I really have to get my shit together if I’m ever going to be famous.
From my resume to the crafty things people would say to me about my character, I couldn’t ever believe that I was good enough to be famous and even if I wasn’t, what if people used all of those things against me when I was?
You know, the things people say to you to make you feel like shit about yourself so that they can make themselves feel better.
“You’re too guarded.”
“You don’t give people all of yourself.”
“You say unnecessary things.”
“You are so undecided.”
“You said this…and then did something else…”
All of these things are extremely, 100% true. But it isn’t what these people have said to me. It’s how they’ve said it. With a screwed up face and nasty tone that indicates that all these facts about me are a bad thing.
Society will comment on your life so tay (so tay is a pidgeon word that means so much) that you will find yourself questioning every little thing you’ve done so that you can form a perfect person for everyone to like.
But guess what!?!
You guessed it, that shit don’t fucking work.
You can’t fashion yourself to be something you are not, the same way you can’t make people love who you are.
The key is, to love yourself despite who people say you are. People will call you all types of names and in reality, you may have done what they say you’ve done; but that doesn’t mean you are who they say you are – word to Tennille K.
I am very guarded. I guard myself and my heart with my life because it is all I have to be well. And because I’ve learned that if I don’t guard it, people will come in, take everything you have and then leave you with nothing. I also, relate to people differently. I give people all of me only if I feel they need or deserve it. If they don’t, I give them what I think they deserve and if over time, they earn the rest, I give them that. And that probably sounds like I am a selfish, self centered, prick but I’m not. I’m just careful. I see signs and I follow them. I allow myself time to get to know someone and I guard my heart in the meantime.
And that. Is not. A bad. Thing.
For so many years, I thought that it was. It’s not. There isn’t anything wrong with being guarded. There isn’t anything wrong with telling people to give you space and time to open up. You are precious. I am precious. I need time. And if you aren’t willing to give me time, what are we doing here? Where are we rushing to? Do we not have eternity to get to know each other?
I don’t know. I have just settled into this new thought process about life. Nothing that has been told to me is truth and nothing that I’ve told myself is necessarily truth either. There is a middle ground. A line somewhere that I am constantly dancing around.
And perhaps, you are dancing around it too. Wondering if you’re a good thing. Wondering if you’re ok. If it’s ok to be you. If it’s ok to feel how you feel and say what you say. It is. It’s ok.
You just have to be open to letting yourself grow. That’s it. That’s the only caveat. You have to be open to letting yourself know that to grow, is to change and to change is to become more of who you are. Be ok in that. So if today, you curse people out and then tomorrow you learn to process your feelings and express freely; you’ve grown. And that’s ok. It’s ok that you needed to grow. It’s ok to be where you are and who you are in hopes that being authentically you will somehow lead you to be more of yourself and a better version of who you already are.
You are a good thing. It doesn’t matter what those people say about you. You’re good.
You just have to believe it.