I was always called “the shy girl.” I had become accustomed to that title ever since reaching the age where labels had suddenly become a thing and if you were labelled anything other than the “cool kid” you were basically a nobody. Growing up isn’t really all that helpful when it comes down to it especially considering the irony of the “be yourself” phrase unless that version of yourself you choose to be is something society disagrees with.
Being known around school as the “shy girl” wasn’t really something I thought much of, at least not until people had begun to use the phrase as a way to identify me under the assumption that I didn’t know who I was truly meant to be underneath the shell of social awkwardness. I would always get asked the common question of ‘why are you so quiet?’ to which I would respond by casually shrugging my shoulders or mumbling a quiet “I don’t know.”
This soon became a routine that left me wondering day in and day out why I couldn’t bring myself to be the outgoing and extroverted person that the majority of people in high school where.
It got to the point that I over thought the label that had been forced against me to where I made it my personal mission to attempt behavior I knew would be deemed as being ‘cool’ such as going to parties and making a fool of myself while hiding behind a mask of discomfort. I became desperate to showcase my extreme transformation from nerdy shy girl to preppy fun chick although underneath all the make-up and mean girl attitude I knew this wasn’t who I was meant to be.
Find what makes you unique and stick to it.
Eventually I learnt the true meaning of self-acceptance which meant being happy with who you are rather than attempting to change to please a few people who only cared about how your reputation impacted the amount of parties you were invited to or how the amount of boys you dated suddenly determined your self-worth.
I’ll probably always be the girl who prefers to stay at home and read a book rather than going to an overcrowded party but I’ve learnt to be okay with that. Sometimes I just stop and look back at the sixteen and a bit years of my life and think about all the time I wasted pretending to be someone I’m not and trust me, it was a pretty long time. So to anybody else who’s been labeled if it means being different or standing out from the crowd I guess being the “shy girl” isn’t so bad after all.