I used to be someone who wanted to blend into the crowd. I never wanted to stand out. I never wanted others to notice me. I was quiet, unless I really knew you. If I had to be the center of attention, I would make jokes or try to deflect the attention away from myself.
I felt like I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, or dressed right. I never said the right thing, did the right thing, or acted the right way. Essentially, I was all wrong. I wasn’t perfect. No matter how hard I tried to be, I wasn’t. So, I kept doing more, trying to be more.
About a year ago, something in me changed. The need to be perfect stopped. I stopped caring what others thought. I stopped trying to blend in. I bought pink hair clips, and bold rimmed glasses. At first, I was a little self-conscious. After so many years of trying to fade away, I was suddenly trying to stand out.
My personality become a little more. More laid back. More adventurous. More bold. I began smiling more, laughing more. I wasn’t looking around at everyone else wondering what they saw in me, or what I was doing wrong.
My husband took a picture of me on a date one evening. It has become one of my favorite pictures of myself. I am wearing my pink hair, and my chunky glasses and I am smiling. Truly smiling. There is a sparkle in my eye that I had been lacking for a very long time.
I have felt more comfortable in my skin in the last year, than I have my other 35 (gasp) years of existence. There are days when I feel the need to blend in, and those are the days I pull out my pink hair, and my chunky glasses. Those are the days I force myself to stand out.
But why? Why do I feel the need to make myself stand out? It’s because I have a daughter who looks up at me for everything I do and say. She sees how I carry myself, and it will help shape her identity. I want her to be herself and to stand out among the crowd. I want her to shine like the diamond that she is. I don’t ever want her to feel less than worthy or feel like she isn’t perfect. I want her to march to the beat of her own drum.
This starts with me. So, I will stand out. I will be bold. On the days that I am not, well, I will wear my pink hair and fake it.