I’ve spent a lot of my life worried about what other people thought about my looks and my behavior.
My life changed from a carefree kid to cautious teenager when I went into Junior High School. It was at that point I realized I needed to have the right purse, the right shoes, and the right behavior in order to blend. I can’t tell you if it was to make myself be in the group. Or, to look so much like the group that I didn’t attract attention. But, it was then I became aware of other people’s thoughts of me.
I’ve since learned all those other people that I thought were spending their time judging me were just trying to blend in, themselves.
So, I tried to be myself. But, who was I, exactly? I was wife to that man, Mother to those two boys, and friend to those few. But, I didn’t really know who I was, or wanted to be, at the time.
I always told my husband, “They see Niena.” “But, they don’t really see ME.” As if I was presenting a side of me that I thought they wanted to see. Like it was an audition for approval.
When I went to any occasion, I would prep Niena in a way so she would be the best Niena she could be for that moment. I was prepping Niena for a performance. They didn’t get me; they got Niena. I didn’t really act like myself. Upon leaving the occasion, often it was a relief, like I could exhale.
My ex (who shall remain nameless), after leaving such an occasion, asked, “Who were you in there?” At the time, I didn’t understand what he meant. But, I remember being crushed at his disappointment in me. He actually remarked that I ‘acted like a fool in there.’
How exhausting is that on a being?
I considered Me as someone that would not be pleasant to be around. If ‘they’ really knew Me, ‘they’ would not choose to be around.
Again, that was thinking about what others thought of me. Trying to guess what they thought of me.
Finally, Niena and Me have come together. I can be me all the time. Niena is me. Me is Niena. And, I like me.
The bottom line is this; I’m going to be me. And, whoever wants to hang with me is welcome to do so. Because I don’t get to choose for you. I only get to choose for me. And, I choose to be happy and free.