From birth, I was a tough girl. Loved climbing trees, catching frogs, and skateboarding in the Tennessee mountains with my hair in curls wearing a matchy-matchy outfit covered in butterflies and flowers. Once I built a skateboard ramp and it broke mid-jump and shaved a layer of skin from my ankle to my knee. My only concern was how soon would I get back out there.
I bring this up because I use to be very outspoken, afraid of nothing, talked to anyone (even though I stuttered), and loved to show off my smarts and athleticism. However, starting in 4th grade my personality started getting me in trouble. I was bored in class one day because I already knew the information the teacher was going over, so I was explaining to my friend who did not understand what the teacher was going over. The teacher called me out in front of everyone, sent me to the office for a paddling, and I sat alone in the corner because in her words “I thought I knew everything.” I received a paddling almost every year from then until high school either because I was vocal, stood out, asked for respect as a black little girl, or simply was standing up for myself or a stranger.
Society nurtured me to just shut up and be “pretty” and only worry about things that I didn’t care much for but had to pretend, i.e. be boy crazy, love fashion, live for make-up, and being popular/liked. Played the game well. But in the long run it taught me to be agreeable and just be nice. Being nice voided me of a personality for so long. I put my head down and just let life happen to me with thinking I had no real power over who I become. Buddy, things have changed over the last few years. After my divorce, then marrying a person that made me feel completely comfortable being 100% myself, I have blossomed to the person I wished I was in my 20s.
Please go through life boldly and never compromise your self for anyone.