Today I reached my limit. Today I turned a corner.
For years I listened and absorbed the words from others in my life, words like, “you’re too shy/reserved/quiet/introverted, you’re not enough.” Until I felt bad enough about who I was to force myself to be someone else. Then I heard things like, “You’re too loud/assertive/hard/abrupt/black&white, You’re too much.” But always I have heard, “You’re to emotional/intense/passionate/strong/weak.” “Do this,” followed by , “why did you do that?”
Enough. It’s enough. Yes, I am passionate, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I can get loud about it. Some things I see in black and white, and other times, I acknowledge, and sometimes even promote, those shades of gray. I love Jesus, and I occasionally drop the F-Bomb. I am human, and readily admit that. But I finally realized something today. I finally realized that I am neither “too much” nor am I “not enough. ” the problem is with those who believe that I am either “too much” or “not enough. ” I am passionate. There is a lot to be passionate about, isn’t there? I get angry at injustice, and annoyed when I see abuse of the sytem, I get loud when I witness someones rights being violated, when I witness discrimination, or believe that someone is being treated unfairly, child abuse, drug abuse, human trafficking, neglect, the list goes on and on with reasons on why we should get passionate. But so often those close to us, who are supposed to support and encourage us, end up being the very same ones who condemn us for not being a quiet, meek, presence.
And when I start to feel like I have to change my personality on the whim of someone else, the very personality that pushed me to get a degree while fighting addiction and working to be a single parent, the personality that gave me the strength to be a successful, albeit struggling single parent, that made it possible for me to advocate for others, to help others, to pursue sobriety (6 years next month Go Me!) I get really upset.
Never again will I change the fundamental characteristics of who I am that have served me so well to please someone else, someone who is unable to be pleased because the truth is: They are unhappy with themselves. Not me. And I won’t change who I am, by nature, or even made to feel bad about who I am, because someone else can’t deal with who they are.
Come on people. It’s not that hard. Word hard, pursue your goals, pay your bills, love your family, and love yourself. Society doesn’t have to dictate your personality If you don’t let it.