Stay True To Who You Are

Flickr/Nathan Congleton
Flickr/Nathan Congleton

I was insecure. I’ve always been insecure. I have never really felt comfortable in my own skin. I knew there was not anything really wrong with me, but there was something that always made me dislike myself to a point where I would change things about me, change things about myself that other people saw as a problem. If someone said I talked too much, I tried to become the shy girl. If someone told me I was a goody two shoes, I acted out in school so I could seem bad. If someone told me my glasses were ugly, I would leave them home on purpose and go through the day partially blind so I could be “pretty.” If someone told me I was a nerd, I acted dumb. I did all of these things that I honestly did not want to just so I would be well liked.

My problem is that I did not outgrow this at the usual age most girls do. This followed me in middle school, throughout high school, and even most of college. I was not comfortable with myself. So I did things that I did not want to and I hung out with people that made me feel uneasy. I acted in ways that made me seem more likeable to other people. I needed people to like me. I needed reassurance from others. I needed constant validation and I hated being alone. I changed myself because I thought there was something wrong with me so I changed myself into a person I did not like…so it was always kind of a lose-lose situation.

It happens, right? You are young and vulnerable. You are still trying to figure out who you are; trying to fill in the colors of a blank painting. But here’s the problem; if you only cater to those around you, your masterpiece is going to look like what they want it to. Why paint the sky blue if you want it to be turquoise? Why put polka dots on your dress when you love stripes? Why use dark colors when you love pastels?

If I love to talk then why should I keep my mouth shut? If I think I look cute in glasses, why didn’t I just wear them? So what if I am a nerd? I enjoy school, what’s it to you?

It got to a point where I was so unhappy and I realized that I needed to make a change. Not for her or for him or for them, but for me. I needed to do something for myself for once.

And that is where everything changed. Instead of being the girl they wanted me to be, I became the girl I wanted to be. I learned to be independent and rely on myself. I learned to cater to my own needs and build and mold myself the way I have always dreamed. I started writing a lot. I took myself out on dates. I watched movies with myself. I talked to myself. I go for walks and drives by myself. I have forced myself into situations where I am alone so I don’t have a choice but to learn to enjoy my own company.

You always hear about self-love and self-acceptance and it may seem like a load of crap and maybe it is to some people, but it is very important to me. You are the artist of your masterpiece; you are the masterpiece and you are in charge of doing whatever you please to it.

So if you want to be the loud and obnoxious girl that never stops talking, then be her. And if you have a crush on George Bush that people make fun of you for, laugh at yourself, but keep on crushing. If you want to wear something that you love that someone else might find unflattering, wear it.

If you think you have areas you need to work on, then work on them for you. Not for anybody else. All we have at the end of the day is ourselves. And we should be the person we like.

The key to growing out of being insecure is teaching yourself that you are unique and you are beautiful and your opinion is the only one that matters. The rest is just white noise. I am still working on myself. My masterpiece may never be complete but I am adding the colors that I love and taking it one day at a time.

Color yourself the way you want, the way that makes you happy. You hold the palate. Mix whatever colors you want together and work on your masterpiece. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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