I guess I am one of those people. Those graced with the good sense to pay attention and to implement my morals into my daily life. Having a daughter has made me even more aware of how I see myself, and severe on myself when I am trying to help her. I do not want to baby or coddle her, because that only promotes a naive sense of the world, but I also want to shelter her from the pain and heartache. I know that is going to be impossible, but hopefully I will be a good role model as I learn more and more about myself and about life every day.
One of the things I am trying to teach her is to not be afraid to be herself. It is so easy, especially today, to try and squeeze yourself into these categories and labels that you or someone you admire find appealing. Somethings, as long as they help you learn, I think are beneficial, but others can alter something inside of you.
I was never one to follow trends. I sort of marched to my own samba and sang my own birdsong. However, there for a long time, I wanted to fit in so badly that I changed myself: over and over and over again. Sometimes not always for the better, but after each passing phase I learned a little something about myself. I am a mix of eccentricities and commonalities. I can be loud when I should be quiet, I can be brash when I should be tender, I can be judge when I should be a jury. I can also be logical when I should be more empathetic. All of these things are good and bad. For a long time, I wanted to be what people thought I should be, and I squeezed and pressed myself into these fictional molds to try and make them happy, but I forgot the most important part. Making myself happy.
It took many years into my 20s to drop the facade “I don’t care what you think” when really that was all I could think about. Doing this helped me to understand that when you let those people in who truly care about you, you do not have to worry about them breaking you down to nothing. They, instead, help build you higher than you ever thought you could go. I learned that I am many things and that that is okay. I am a whirlwind of colors and sincerity with a storm of creativity and emotion following quickly behind. And that is okay. I am me. I am one of a kind. I am an original. I no longer want to really change myself, I mean don’t get me wrong, I would love to be a bit more toned, but these things are superficial and no longer make me feel like I am less than I am. Those things have become more of a goal to improve myself in a healthy way, rather than a hammer that I internally beat myself with. I see myself in a yellow light that has become a beacon.
I am getting closer to 30 now, and I still have big dreams that I am striving for. My life is not perfect, and sometimes I allow myself a good, long, ugly cry. But I do not let the not so great things superimpose the wonderful blessings I have been given. I am becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin. I am seeing more beauty around me and inside of me than I ever though possible.
I guess it is these small victories that I want to share with my daughter. I want her to know that she is loved and protected, but also she is perfect just the way she is. I want her to remain an original as long as she can, and when she loses herself, I hope she would trust in me to help her find herself again. I want her to be a kid as long as she can. I want her to be silly and laugh. I want her to try things she did not think was possible, and learn from the consequences of those actions. I want her to pick herself up without completely relying on someone else. I want her to never lose her spirit, joy, and fight.
I think all people need a reminder some of the time that you are okay. That you are not alone, and that you do not have to be a certain way to be and find love. That sometimes taking a break is okay, that pushing yourself to do better is okay, that evolving and growing is okay. You are an original and you are loved.
“A poor original is better than a good imitation.”
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Until next time,