There are three kinds of people in this world. The ones that act like they know what is best for you, the ones that don’t really care, and you. Yet, your opinions usually come after everyone else’s, and we let it happen because we hold opinions from other people very highly.
The most common times we take into consideration other people’s viewpoints is when we are either making bold decisions or if they comment on the entirety of our being. When we live boldly or stand out to others, we sometimes feel susceptible to ridicule and embarrassment and look for others to approve of what we are and what we do.
We all do it, but we need to stop.
Chances are, some part of you is only the way you are because somebody made a comment to you. For me, it was being overweight. If I was never ridiculed for it, I probably wouldn’t have lost the weight and been as confident as I am now.
Maybe you're happy that you ended up changing, but maybe we only feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence because we live in a society where fitting the norm is valued over our individuality.
Some of our decisions have probably gone awry at one time or another, like painting your room purple or attempting bangs. But we get to learn and experiment with these things when we attempt them. Not everything is a phase. We do it because we want it, not because we felt the need to get back at our parents or make a statement. We just want to be who we are and like what we like.
For example, do you know what brought me so much joy yet was stripped from me? Anime and manga. I loved watching shows like Naruto and Yu-gi-oh and reading the books and finding people who like it just as much as I did, but I was ridiculed for it by so many people close to me.
Eventually, I got so embarrassed I just gave it up and couldn’t wait to get rid of them. If you don’t quite understand my excitement for it, I used to get up at the crack of dawn to go to neighboring library book sales or go for Black Friday Books-A-Million sales. I used to only ask for manga for Christmas. It was also one of the only things I still had after my parents died.
Anime and manga was such a big deal to me because it inspired me to write and create stories, and it was my entire childhood and interest. And I wasn’t even allowed to enjoy that without being ousted by people as a freak. Now that I’m in college I realize so many normal people have an interest in it and I gave it all up so other people would talk to me again and find me normal in middle school and high school.
There are things that we like that others don’t, and that is okay. Some people like skulls over flowers, girl clothes over guy clothes, techno over “mature music.” It doesn’t make you wrong to like them, it makes them a**holes for making it their business.
And when it comes to your body, NOBODY has the right to tell you what you should do to improve it. Keep the facial hair, have fat rolls, dress like a dude or walk like a girl. It’s nobody’s problem and it hurts no one, but more importantly, it’s you. You are what you like and what you like is only a part of what fully makes you, you.
There are some real abusive people out there, and sometimes it is the people closest to you that hurt you the most. I’ve heard that I was fat, I talk like I’m gay, I walk like there is a pole shoved up my ass, I look sick all the time, and that all things I enjoy are annoying and immature. Those really scared me, and even though I feel better as a person now, I know that I’m not as happy as I used to be.
Popularity while being fake isn’t as entertaining as loving what you do with people that love it, too.
So stay original, try something bold, and don’t let words be the reason that you live an unhappy life.