Growing up, you were probably told you were “too much” of something. Too bossy, too loud, too shy, too emotional.
After hearing it enough, you believed it. You felt like you were wrong for it. Like it was a faulty part of you that needed to be fixed.
So you tried to change it. You desperately wanted to cover it up.
At school, you learned what it took to be liked and accepted. Everyone at school liked Jessica.
Is it because she’s outgoing and pretty and has nice clothes? I need to be more like her, you decided.
You traded novels and notebooks for eyeliner and tanning beds.
You wished badly that you weren’t so shy and tall and that your skin was clear.
You begged your mom to shop at Abercrombie so you could wear the shirts with the moose that showed the world that you were cool.
As human beings, we learn to adapt for survival. We change and morph to fit in.
Over time, we become a collage of the people around us. Many of us emerge from high school like lost puppies, blinking around at our surroundings in confusion. Who am I? What do I do now?
I was brought back to myself with a pair of dangly earrings and a blog.
Remembering who I was began with creating a blog.
My blog began with me following the urge to write freely in a Google doc. I’d been reading a lot and had so many thoughts and ideas swirling around in my head. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m thinking until I write it down.
Those hodgepodge thoughts formed into stories and life lessons, my future blog posts. A flip switched inside me. A fire grew in my belly.
Suddenly, I wanted nothing more than to write. It was like I’d struck oil, and this pent up creativity was flowing out of me. My greatest frustration wasn’t what to write about, it was that I couldn’t devote more time to writing it.
With the writing came a remembering.
A remembering of the creative girl I once was. I began to reacquaint myself with her.
The girl who wrote books, complete with illustrations and clippings from JC Penney catalogs. The girl who drew cartoon animals for all the kids in her third grade class. The girl who brought Goosebumps books to the dinner table.
That girl had faded away in middle school, when her desire to fit in was greater than her desire to be herself.
We’re “too much,” right? No one’s going to like us for who we actually are.
A few months ago, I looked in the mirror at myself wearing stud earrings. Simple stud earrings. Since when was I a girl who wore studs? I’d always loved dangly earrings and funky rings and bracelets. When did I stop wearing those?
I ordered three new pairs of dangly earrings that day.
People say they need to find themselves and find their purpose. I think it’s more of a remembering.
We once knew very clearly who we were and what we loved. We only lost sight of it when we watered ourselves down to become the bits and pieces of everyone else.
That little girl or boy is still inside all of us. Who are you?