I came across this phrase a few days ago and it really stuck with me because I know exactly what it is talking about!
For YEARS in my life I was afraid of being exactly who I am for fear of losing friendships. I forced myself to be someone I wasn’t, someone I wasn’t proud of, I would wake up every day, look at myself in the mirror, take a deep breath and put on a “mask”, a facade, to pretend everything was ok.
I would laugh at things I didn’t think were funny, I would hear horrible comments about other people and not say a single thing, I let people who were absolutely nothing special act like they were better than other people without saying a word.
Until one day I got tired of it, I got tired of laughing at stuff that wasn’t funny, got tired of trying to please everyone. I was one of those lucky kids who got the chance to do two exchange programs, the ones that last a month, with people I had never seen before, and at those, I was who I actually wanted to be.
I was myself, weird, funny, a clown, grumpy. I learned so much about different cultures and different realities, I saw that the world was much bigger than that life we had at school.
When I returned from one of those programs I decided to simply be me, the Barbara that was free of judgments, that knew that the world was made up of different people and that was the beauty of it!
And at that time I lost SEVERAL “friends”, but the ones who stuck around and took me in showed me that I can be whoever I want to be and they will still love me.
People that, even though they didn’t fully understand where I was coming from, supported me and urged to learn, they might have taken their own time, but they learned to see the beauty in the differences, learned to judge less.
People that, in their own way, make the world a better place, and a more beautiful one to live, people who allowed me to be who I was fully, that allowed me to choose myself.
And that, my friends, has been the best choice I’ve ever made, and continue to make every single day, it isn’t always easy, but I keep choosing myself 💖