Tuesday, May 9, 2017

what makes you a you and not a them

People say things to me like, "I could never get away with that," "I'd never be able to pull that off," & "I wouldn't look like you do if I wore that." Now they might just be trying to nicely say "you look like a fool" but if they do mean that, I am a fool because I don't believe that to be true.

Sometimes I go to an event and almost everyone is wearing pretty much the same thing. They wear what is in style right now or outfits that they see everyone else wearing. The easy thing to do is fit in. I don't want to dress just to fit in. I want to dress in what feels the most like me right down to my very bones. The biggest problem I have with clothing is when I look in the mirror and don't see me. I cannot swing that. I feel like an imposter. I have never put on a big stack of thick beads without looking in the mirror and saying to myself, who are you trying to be? It doesn't feel right. I'm not saying that people do not look amazing when they wear that but to me it does not feel right.

I think that dressing to fit in is just a symptom of  the bigger problems in society right now. We spend so much time trying to fit in that most of us have no clue who we are, what we like, and what is important to us. I remember when I noticed this the first time and how, at the time, I was no different. I modeled my life after the community I grew up in and I dressed and acted that part. By the time I had caught up with what had happened to me I didn't know who I was. I was strictly the product of the village that it took to raise me.

I took great pains to change all this and it started by trying to figure out who I was before the world sunk it's claws into me. I bought an old scrapbook and I filled it with the things that mattered to me. I tried to remember the things I liked as a child and all the things that made me a me and not a them. We are all different and I had to remember what made me different. I wasn't born to walk this world pretending that I'm agreeable and have no opinions or tastes that are not rubber stamped by society. I wanted to be whatever I am that makes me different from any other person on this planet. That took a decade.

During the time I was trying to figure it all out I was dating a person whose sole function in this world is to fit in and make sure no one ever finds out all the terrible things he does. Imagine how unsupportive he was with me when I was trying to be something other than a mold of what everyone expects. Yea, if you imagined no support, you were right. I moved through this time taking two steps forward and being dragged three steps back. I knew what I wanted but he wouldn't let me have it.

When I was finally able to break out of that suffocating relationship I finally found a person that supported me so fully that, had I dreamt of being supported, I would not have been able to fathom it in the way it turned out. Not even in my wildest dreams. I had no model for it in my life. Bryan Boles helped me be more me than I ever knew was possible just by holding my hand and never letting it go. He walked with me every step of the way and never asked me to be different.

I live like I want to live. I believe what I want to believe. I love who I want to love. I dress the way I want to dress. I spend my money the way I want. I say whatever I want to say. I do whatever I want to do.

The last thing on my mind is what anyone thinks about who I am. When you get this strong about who you are nothing anyone says, does or thinks will make a difference. You just shake it all off because you know that there is a little part of them that wishes they could have what you have and they are frightened they will never figure it out. You remind them that they are a shadow of what they could be and you make them worry that they'll always be that.

When someone says, "I could never get away with that" the thing they mean is they could never feel comfortable just being who they are. They are afraid of not fitting in. It does not have anything to do with me. It is a statement about how they feel about themselves. I am just that thing that reminds them. 
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