Allow yourself to fully be you. Life is way, way too short to be anything other than the you that you want to be. Not the you that your parents want you to be, or the you that society wants you to be. But the you that is unique, silly, fun, outgoing, and adventurous or the you that is quiet, focused, creative and calm. Whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself, I hope you can allow yourself to fully become that person.
I can think of way too many instances in my life where I tried to change myself to fit into a mold. In high school, I hated my hair because of society’s negative comments about black hair and because all of my “friends” at the time didn’t have hair like mine and always wanted to touch my “unique” hair. So I made my mom give me a perm and caused long term damage to my hair. I always felt like my quirky behavior was “weird” and was told that by key people in my life, so I remember always toning it down, and as I got older I toned it down more and more and more, to the point that it’s often hard for me to tap into that part of me. I remember being called “grandma” on my track team because I didn’t want to always go out and party, I preferred hanging in, watching TV and getting homework done.
I’ve been doing reflecting on why I often am afraid to speak up about what’s truly on my mind. I will choose to suffer about something, if it means the other person is happy. And I’ve just really reflected on all of the times I’ve been silenced by others over the course of my lifetime and that has in turn made me lose who I wanted to be and not feel fully comfortable to show up as Ivy in all situations.
I’m sure you have had experiences where you have felt silenced, put down, or felt like you had to change who you were because of society, family, friends or a romantic partner. It doesn’t feel good to act in a way that is completely dissociated from who you want to be. Of course, we want to grow and mold and we want to be people who are kind and respectful to others, but we also want to be that way to ourselves as well.
I’m embracing a journey of really being who I am in all spaces and I hope you can too. I am slowly reintroducing parts of me that have been silenced and it feels good to let loose and experiment in how it feels to tap back into those parts of me. What areas can you tap back into? As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close – I encourage you to be really mindful about choosing you, choosing to be you and choosing to love you. You are uniquely you for a reason, don’t let anyone dim your light. Keep shining for the world to see and most importantly, keep shining for you.
Be Beautifully Simply You