Be You


Confidence is something I have struggled with for a good portion of my life. For the most part, I thought I’d been relatively okay with myself over these last few months. Did I still point out my flaws? I guess, yeah. Did I cringe every time I looked in the mirror? Yes, but I’m working on it. Did I still feel paranoid in public? Well, that’s something that has been progressively getting worse.

            It took a comment from a family member for me to finally realize why I’ve been feeling so uncomfortable. Like any concerned aunt, she feared that I was a Satanist and that my green hair and aversion to any colored clothing besides black was concerning. Much like any other punk kid growing up, I’ve had that term thrown at me a lot, so I’ve learned it is much easier to roll your eyes and walk away. However, this time the comment bothered me.

            The label itself didn’t affect me, but it was the fact that I sat there wondering what I did to make her say that. As I quickly went through my recent outfit choices in my head, I realized that for the last few months I’d slowly been succumbing to the pressure of looking “normal”. I didn’t consciously acknowledge it. I guess I just figured that taking my mom’s fashion advice after ten years of avoiding it meant that I was growing up. The truth is, I didn’t look normal. I can’t even tell you what normal is. All I really know is that after years of beating myself up after people would throw snide comments about me, they had finally started to eat away at me and it was shaping me into a person that I didn’t want to be.

            Who knew it would take an insult for me realize I was unhappy? I didn’t, that’s for sure, but who cares? On my quest to be bold and flaunt my individuality, I realized that I had abandoned mine. Personally, I think that’s the first step to finding happiness. Be confident and be bold. There’s no need to please anyone else. I know it hurts when people judge you, but none of that matters. Those people don’t need to be in your life. Never be afraid to be you. I’m getting there one step at a time and I’m sure that you can too.

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