One of the things I will never comprehend is how people can publicly attempt to destroy another person’s self-image in hopes of bringing them more contentment. The irony, of course, is the very fact that these people have the same tendency to be attention-seekers but view themselves as supposed role-models. It’s almost borderline hysterical when I see someone try to preach righteousness and equality when all they demonstrate is a lack of professionalism, compassion, and accountability. Public figure or not, an act of kindness transcends monetary items. Sometimes you can tell someone’s true character not by the way they treat their friends and family but the manner in which they go about interacting with those they don’t know ie) the waiter, the cashier, the person taking their drive-thru orders. My rule of thumb for dating or for keeping people in my life is to always surround myself with those who make me feel like I’m breathing fresh air. You will never know how toxic others can be unless you, yourself, understand what a quality relationship/friendship is really about.
As a victim of bullying, I’ve learned that hate speech is almost unavoidable—unless of course, you are willing to be alienated and live your life behind closed doors. Somewhere out there, there will always be a person who will never understand your action or give you credit for your work. There will be those who undermine your accomplishments and character and no matter how badly you want to just give them a hug or shake their hand, you know very well that given the opportunity, they will never extend the same courtesy to you and that’s okay.
If you’ve been my friend for a while, you will know that the concept of giving up the need to please everyone was something that was extremely difficult for me to fully digest. It’s almost in my nature to constantly think about my loved ones’ happiness and well-being. Is my mom happy? Does my brother view me as a positive influence in his life? By going on such an unconventional route, would my dreams impact my family’s quality of life? These thoughts are always replaying in my head so much so that my own self-worth and happiness were dependent on what others were saying/thinking. While I’ve always been the one to encourage understanding and kindness, it took me a long time to show myself that kind of self-love.
Don’t we all make that kind of mistake? We spend hours and for some, years in trying to be the daughter or son that our parents want us to be. Some of us even take it a step further by sacrificing our own hopes and dreams in order to fulfill someone elses’ vision of success. Time again, I see my friends putting their own wants aside in order to be on a higher pedestal that result in no life satisfaction whatsoever. We all think we’re doing the right thing, but in the back of our minds, we know that this kind of fulfillment is only short-lived. There are times (now) when I would look in the mirror and feel extremely proud of the person I’ve become. I’m crazy. Sometimes a bit too wild, too different, too outspoken but at the end of the day, my best friends accept me, my boyfriend values me, and more importantly, I love me.
Things took a positive turn the moment I realized that loving my body, mind, and heart is an ongoing process. I understand that my intentions are good and that I will never try to inflict any pain or judgement because I fully understand that everyone is fighting their own battles. Life is already hard and I’m not here to make it harder for others. Do I have the ability to do so? Of course. If that was my life mission then you bet that I’ll be rallying a crowd up and exploit everyone who has ever done me wrong. Do I have the time and commitment to do so? Absolutely not. Other people’s actions or preconceived thoughts about how I dress, how I look, what I say are a mere reflection of their own self. I’ve been through enough to know that I shouldn’t be in a position to spread that kind of negative energy on someone else.
Presently, I have two options 1) I can further speculate people’s integrity and place it on a public domain for others to interrogate or 2) Focus on my purpose and continue to pursue my goals. Well, I’m going to go with the latter on this one. Creating bad blood and passing on hate are not my forte. Being passionate, producing quality work, eating good food with good people, loving the same man…these are things that define who I am.
Every trial and tribulation has been such a growing experience and I truly mean it when I say that I enjoy the pitfalls because it has led me to witness people’s humility, sense of humor, character, and ultimately, their most authentic self. Am I more guarded as to who I keep in my inner circle? You bet. But the losses of friendships and relationships are things that push me to always be in search of quality, not quantity.