Be the you that makes YOU happy! NOT everyone else
In my short time on this planet I’ve learned a lot about myself through my experiences and surroundings. In middle school although in some ways I was myself, in lots of other ways I was who everyone wanted me to be. My cousin asked me what I wanted to be and I said a singer and he laughed at me, he said everyone in the family plays sports and you want to be a singer. He may not have intended to hurt me or stamper on all of my dreams but that one comment made me rethink them. I decided after that to be more realistic, that maybe that was kind of optimistic of me to think I could be. I went around and told everyone I wanted to be a lawyer and they responded that, that was a fitting career for someone with my character. I am outspoken sometimes too much and in the wrong scenarios, very opinionated, strong-minded, articulate, newly confident, passionate about social reform, and I love debating. I justified their desires of my career choice because although I loved singing, ironically I felt inclined to choose law before everyone told me to “be realistic”, I knew that I had a passion for defending victims of discrimination. I desired to be a voice for so many that weren’t being heard. My mom saw this in me early on, I would learn about something in school or read about a minority group being discriminated against, and come home and rant to her about how wrong this was.
A reflection distorted by people
During middle school I had a diffident disposition, I was bullied about how I looked and that destroyed my confidence. Although junior high was detrimental to me in some ways, it also helped me discover things about myself I otherwise may not have known. I debated for two years, was in two fall drama productions, and was in the choir for three years. I learned that I love to perform and that I am passionate about societal inequality. I wasn’t really happy even though I was doing the things I loved. I would often get teased about being in the performing arts instead of playing sports like the majority of the boys. I wasn’t able to see what I see now in hind sight, performing wasn’t masculine and people don’t like things they don’t understand, they wanted me to fill the gender role that society chose for me the moment I was born. I used humor as a way to disguise my anxiety, I became the comedian as a way to heal myself, for some I was “annoying and played too much.” I recognize now that because of not being who people wanted me to be, I became something else that I also wasn’t and still was not accepted. I was always laughing but no one saw my internal struggles, and they didn’t know how detrimental their words could be in my vulnerable state. Through this I learned that the only way to be happy is to live for yourself, by doing this you become free of burden and radiate an aura of happiness that attracts others. I knew that by making others laugh I could find solace in my suffering, and alleviate my vulnerability. Although I learned all of this about myself, my image of myself was still deeply scarred by the echoed insults I received from my peers, they became the lenses through which I saw only the flaws others gave me.
While I had gained knowledge about myself that would give me a competitive advantage for life, I also was at a disadvantage that could dissolve my potential for the rest of my life. I knew what I wanted to do but lost the confidence in whether I could do it.
In order to GROW you need things to replenish you
Fortunately I was born to a loving family which always taught me that in order to be happy, you must love yourself above all things. They also gave me confidence when I felt insecure. They listened to me and saw beauty where others only saw imperfection, because of this loving family I was able to consciously block out any hate from my peers. I thought I was confident, but subconsciously I still saw something far from perfect when I looked in the mirror. I still walked down the street with my head hanging low, avoided large groups, and mentally questioned peoples belief in my capabilities. I told others I was confident but I really wasn’t, whenever anyone criticized me I deflected them by using their insecurities against them. I didn’t know that I was dodging hits that still touched open wounds, and left residual damage. I didn’t defend myself by saying that I didn’t care as a confident person would, but by making people feel how I felt. The craziest thing about it is that so many people are fighting inner battles like I did, but people on the outside remain completely oblivious. I realize now that a truly confident person is untouchable when it comes to insults, secure people are unapologetic with every inch of who they are. If your are confident and people take shots at you, they all ricochet because you see beauty where that person see’s fault.
As a young adult I see things now like I didn’t see them before, I have a lot of little cousins and friends who I try to encourage. Sometimes you rain on people’s dreams even though you are unaware of it, simply commenting on someones weight or that they suck at something could destroy them for life.
FAITH can SAVE you in times of most desperate NEED
I used to believe that happiness was this esoteric way of life that could not be possible, unless some life changing discovery was inhabited. Through faith I discovered that happiness is something that can only be found inside, no materialistic thing or person can make you happy if you don’t have it in yourself. Religion matters to me because I am a catholic, but I know there are plenty of people out there who are atheists, if you put positivity out there the law of attraction will bring it to you. As cliche as it sounds the way to change your life is by seeing the silver lining in every situation. When you see beauty in your struggle everything seems to be less unfortunate. Most of the time people ask themselves why a situation happens to them or give themselves pity as victims, what they neglect to see is that by asking that, you limit what you take from the situation. By giving yourself pity you make yourself a victim, instead of being grateful that you have been given an opportunity, to overcome a hurdle that will make you stronger for the future. Instead you must ask what did I learn from this situation and how will it help me down the road. Whenever I felt down my mom told me to pray and ask God to manifest in me, but to a person who doesn’t believe that translates to doing something that makes you happy or changing the type of energy that your putting out. When I prayed to God I looked at things differently and allowed that tranquility to manifest, where as being angry your mind is set on one possibility, which is attracting more negativity.
Negativity allows the mind to see things that aren’t there, when your angry you may feel like people are conspiring against you when they aren’t, or you may assume that something happened when it didn’t. This fuels an ongoing cycle of negativity until you decide to get over it.
Am I Confident/HAPPY today?
As any other human of course I have my down days but, for the most part I am happy besides the constant stress of keeping my academics up, but thats a different topic though. I wouldn’t say I am completely confident but I would say I’m getting better. With social media being such a large part of being in the youth, almost every kid has some sort of social media outlet. Unfortunately it’s easy to fall into the habit of comparing ourselves to others we may see on these sites. I have fallen into that habit myself and I actually took a short break due to this, I quickly got my accounts back after a month or so. The fact that we are so glued to our social media accounts just shows the influence that they have on us. Anyone can deny it but the truth is we all in some way or another compare ourselves to someone we follow on social media. This is damaging the idea of beauty because many young girls/boys may compare themselves to others who have spent hours on makeup or styling or editing the photos, where as people may think they naturally look that way. I myself am guilty of feeling like I’m not as attractive as someone who has more followers. This subconsciously damages your self-esteem because you start to connect these people that you follow with your mental image of beauty.
Many have one view of what beauty is but the reality is that beauty cannot be encompassed by one image, it comes in so many shapes and forms. I used to think that the amount of followers I had defined my beauty, but at some point during my social media break in the midst of overthinking things I came to a realization.
How many followers you have doesn’t determine your beauty
Too many people’s beauty goes unrecognized and just because you aren’t favorable to one person doesn’t begin to include so many other people. Just because you aren’t the conventional image of beauty like a model in a fashion magazine, doesn’t mean you aren’t in some other way. The thing is many people on social media build this image of what they want people to think they are. We turn inspiration or aspiration for someone into being like them, people including myself have grown habits of adjusting their pages to look like people they find aesthetically pleasing. Although there is nothing wrong with “being artsy” or any other common page themes, changing your page to be like someone who you admire corrodes your intuitive desires. The problem isn’t detrimental until you are unhappy with your photos or style because you originally tinkered them to be like someone else’s. By being a generation that is so media oriented we have robbed ourselves of giving each other accurate impressions of who we are. Instead of meeting someone and getting the raw truth, as people would do in past generations, we meet through web pages and think we already know each other. Because we think we know people by their profiles, people don’t live up to be who they said they were, resulting in many disloyal relationships. I have Instagram today and although I don’t have a large following I am fine, because as everyone should know social media sites give beauty a superficial meaning. Truth be told many people that have lasting relationships, have them because of impressions they received in person.
People sometimes aren’t necessarily in love with the persons exterior, but with the personality that comes with it that can’t be entirely expressed through a screen.
What CHANGED after junior high?
I would be lying if I said my increase in confidence didn’t have something to do with my “glo up”. I wasn’t confident during junior high and elementary school, I got teased all the time for having acne and my facial features. During high school I didn’t know whether people were just less mean or if I was actually just a handsome guy to people. I knew the answer because I still witnessed the same bullying I faced during middle school and reminisced to a darker time. I learned during middle school that people didn’t like who I was or who I pretended to be to please them, so in high school I was the me that made me happy because either way it would bother people. Throughout almost my whole academic career I was teased about my acne, people’s go to line was “how about you get some proactive.” Anyone knows the damper having a pimple can put on your confidence, and for a person who had none it was even worse. In high school those insecure bored people did the same thing, but instead I asked them why it bothered them if it didn’t bother me. What I knew now that I didn’t know before, was that no matter what people would always try to put you down so why not embrace your “flaws”. During junior high I would play sports not really because I loved it, but because people said it’s what I should be doing. People tried to tell me who to hang out with, what to do, even what type of music to listen to. High school I skipped all the trying to be likable or fitting to what people told me to be and I was much happier. People still constantly badger me about my choice to go to a performing arts school vs an athletic or regular school, but it doesn’t matter to me because I see now that what makes you happy should be priority above all. If you have dominican parents you know they always want their sons to play baseball and maybe even one day make it to the major leagues, but I grew out of that mold and decided that even if I disappoint my father I chose to do what makes me happy. Parent’s have a pre-conceived notion of what they want their child to be before they are even out of the womb,what they seem to forget is that what makes their child happy should make them happy. The parents who want their child to live out their dream scenario is seen way too much, and quite frankly what these parents must understand is that the universe already has a destiny for them.
Sometimes by making your child be what you want them to be, you block them from achieving higher glory in what they are meant to be.
Why is this Important?!
So many people try to please others instead of being content with who they want to be. These people don’t understand especially in high school, most of these “friends” won’t even talk to you a decade from now. So there is no point in spending four years of your life pleasing them, because doing what’s not natural causes emotional trauma. Ha! not like we don’t have enough emotional problems during puberty. Not to mention most of our “friends” talk behind our backs, I’ve witnessed this in several people who try to mend themselves to be what people want them to. So people put up an act to be bashed by people either way, the only way to love life is to love yourself, and most importantly be yourself.