I recently moved to Birmingham, Al from Athens, Ga (originally from Atlanta, Ga), making the first post-grad leap into (young) adulthood and big-girl decisions. Transitioning to a new city, entering a new season of life and trying to wrap my head around an identity that no longer anchored on colleges and extra-curricular activities was tough. It was tough in a way that made me feel like a wobbly, awkward outlier.
I sort of loved it though. I loved (and now look back and still love) how beautifully vulnerable everyone felt. Self-doubt and self-consciousness were a common theme. We connected in our season of floating-pieceness.
While this hunger for connection was initially embraced, many peers let their own hunger for acceptance lead to a place shrouded with acting, resenting, competing, and well-intentioned-but-destructive people-pleasing. And I was at the end of a lot of it. I took it in, because I thought that was what I was supposed to do.
As a result of it, I lowered my eyes and my standards. I accepted every passive blow and canceled plan. I sat in the eye of torrential winds of gossip and tornadoes of negativity, absorbing every doubt and standard for “socially acceptable.”
But I looked at myself. And while I almost always say, “Yes, of course” or “Sure, why not?” I said, “No fucking more.” I love myself. For my grandma-chic style, for my awkwardness, for my love of random textures, for my desire to dance and run around in bouts of sheer excitement and joy. And I deserve more. And that is something I have to activate and encourage for myself. Because you are your own best soul sister.
How you treat your lady friends and gal pals is a reflection of how you view yourself. Dig deep. Be kind. Forgive yourself for demanding a false identity from yourself. Accept your silly parts, and let your vulnerable parts shine. Those who can’t accept and even adore your embarrassing and unconventional antics can take their judgment and cookie-cutter ideals elsewhere. You were born to sparkle and glow.