This isn’t a masquerade….

Picture1What does it mean to be yourself? Who else could you be? This isn’t a masquerade. It seems to me that I have always tried to please others and fit in. Was I born like that or was I conditioned? I think there was a combination of things.

First, growing up in a small southern town appearances were everything. You never let anyone see a flaw. You leave your home fully dressed, make up on and hair done. You want to be the smartest kid in school, but you are told that you don’t work up to your potential. You are told you don’t practice the right religion, so you are relegated to the back of the room to teach yourself. Because your parents have a drink at night before dinner, there are kids that can’t come to your house. So you learn pretty quick to cover things up. Smile and never let them see the real you.

But then there was the self confidence issue. I could have used a whole lot more than I had. Every time I looked in the mirror, I said things like, “you are too fat, your hair won’t cooperate for the perfect “Farrah Fawcett” style,” and how you did not work up to your potential….focused on the bad and then spent so much time trying to cover that up as well.

After years and years of this, I forgot what made me, me! I had to remove that mask and start being myself, say no when I wanted, be angry when I wanted and do things the way I wanted, not what was expected.

Guess what? My confidence has grown. I feel happy, even exuberant. A couple of different people that I see only occasionally have said, “something is different about you; did you change the color of your hair? You look great.” It is just the happiness that shows on my face.

BE YOURSELF, EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN.

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