I’m always itching to write but I put it aside because well… life. This one is something that has been on my mind for quite a while and I am excited to share it, but I do feel hella nekkid.
Maybe this is something we learn as we grow up or maybe I’m just late to catch it and you’ve known this since you were 5, but how many times do you go home after hanging out with a group of people or a friend and feel…….. super dissatisfied? Like you didn’t say everything you wanted to or express your inmost self and just be all that you are?
Yes, some conversations and hangouts fall flat for a number of reasons: lack of chemistry, feels too forced, actually socially awkward people, ppl not in the mood, etc. But I’m talking about the ones that are somewhat organic and there’s a decent amount of trust + fun + mutual nodding going on.
I’ve definitely gone home feeling disappointed, half- filled as if I had eaten a mediocre bologna sandwich for dinner and it wasn’t until recently I started to evaluate why. Surprisingly, before I could play the blame game for the other person(s) for being such sucky people for making me feel this way, I found myself pointing back at me. And eventually, after processing through the mixed emotions, frustrations and going far as to my childhood and remembering similar occurrences, I realized that deep inside, I didn’t respect myself or my words as I thought I did.
Growing up, I would humbly say that I was a confident kid. I threw dodge balls at boys first, stood up for anyone under injustice and always raised my hand in class whether I knew the answer or not. If I was wrong, I knew I was still better than the babies who were too scared to try. But somewhere down the road, this in- your- face confidence fizzled out and shriveled up like a prune. I realized that deep inside, in the truest, inmost part of me, I didn’t value myself or my words as before. I noticed that I compromised to the dominant personality in the group, catered to the conversation they carried and smothered my true feelings because… well… I genuinely didn’t think that I had anything meaningful to say.
And I know you’re thinking, “WHAT?! YOU? But you’re like the most extraverted person I know! And you always say what’s on your mind!” And that’s true. I am like the little energizer bunny and I’m not afraid to voice out that I’m hungry or cold. But energy levels are irrelevant to true colors and being hungry or cold are just basic human senses; they don’t represent who we really are and what we like, dislike, love, etc.
The perpetrator for all this is me- the inner critic me. The evil perfectionist, ready to smash anything I create, think, feel, voice etc. Unfortunately, this me is a part of me and will always be a part of me as long as me in here on earth. But I’ve been learning to shut up this inner critic me, and believe that I am valuable… that I should respect and believe in myself because if I don’t… who will?
It’s still a process I’m trekking through and I think it’ll be for a while. But through the days, I’m committing myself to stop compromising, catering and suppressing. And although sometimes I feel like I’m in denial or just lying to myself, I’m committing myself to believe the true value that I have as a person and to be whole- heartedly me.