Showing Your True Self

Showing Your True Self

You don't have to be 'on' all the time
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Who are you? I can tell you who I am.

I am a simple yet complicated dreamer. I am an open book with a few pages torn out, for there are some parts of my story I don’t tell many people. I am outgoing, but I can be equally as shy. I can be funny and confident, or sad and discouraged.

A few of my close friends can agree with those statements. Others simply take out the bad parts because they don’t see the real me behind the jokes, the laughter, and the outgoingness. It’s easy to think you know who people are. You certainly see some of their fine characteristics, but you never see the broken pieces.

Sometimes passing judgment on who we have figured people to be causes problems. I have noticed that some people just really don’t know me as deeply, and therefore, cannot detect certain moods of mine. Most people only see the happy-go-lucky version and expect it at all hours of the day. So naturally, anytime I am not cracking jokes or smiling, they assume the worst. Then, there becomes a repeated phrase: “Demi, what’s wrong?” “Nothing.” “There has to be something wrong. You aren’t being yourself.”

Oh, don’t we all just love those moments

I’m told that when I am not smiling, I either look really angry or really sad. But in all honesty, I am usually just super zoned out or focusing on the task I need to complete.

It’s easy to get wrapped into what others think of us. It’s easy to listen so much to them that we feel like we have to be that way all of the time.

I have a friend who is one of the most caring, sweetest people I have ever met. She is a very straight forward individual, so a lot of people don’t think so highly of her. After being thrown into this idea, she has given up on trying to show her real side, and just gives them what they want to see.

Isn’t that so easy to do? We get tired of trying to explain ourselves. We eventually just give in to who everyone thinks we are and act that way. After awhile, this, too, becomes exhausting.

I came to a realization this week about myself. I had a crush on a friend of mine for about two months. Every time I saw him, I thought I had to be on in order to grab his attention. I was scared that if I wasn’t my funniest each time I saw him, he wouldn’t pay attention to me. At the end of the day, I look back on moments like that and reflect on how the situation went. This week, I reflected on all of the situations with this guy that I could think of. I noticed a pattern. In trying to impress him, I acted completely against the girl that I am. In simple words, I said really stupid things that I would never say to anyone else. I became this fake person because I was scared to show the broken parts of me. Honestly, the faker I was, the more that I exposed about myself, and doing this made me show those broken pieces in the wrong manner.

Maybe none of this has applied to you. Let’s look at a different way. In the mornings, how good do you try to make yourself look before walking out the door? I don’t care if you got up 10 minutes before you needed to leave- you, usually, still want to look the best you can. Today, I threw my hair up in a ponytail after my second class because it was just one of those days. I assume that when my hair is up, I look completely bald. Thus, this was the first time in maybe a year (while at college) that I have worn it up in public. Not even 20 minutes later, I regretted the decision. I came to the conclusion that my hair hated me today and just wasn’t going to look good regardless. A thought came into my head through this: Demi, you don’t have to be on all the time. Hmm, isn’t that convenient. Here’s what I mean:

We are told we have to look our best all the time. I personally have this thought of “oh, well you never know when you will meet a potential partner, so you better look your best.” (Please judge me people.) Today wasn’t an exception. I immediately took down my hair because I didn’t want to not look my best. I wanted to make sure that people thought I never looked bad or whatever.

The truth is, we don’t have to be on all the time. We don’t have to compromise to this standard of always being our best. Sometimes, we aren’t in a happy-go-lucky mood. Sometimes, you just really don’t want your hair down, or you don’t want to dress up.

Walk out of your house in sweatpants if you want. Have a messy hair day. Be happy without forcing a smile. Regardless of what others tell you, it is okay to not be your best at every hour of every day. Honestly, that is tiring. Show who you really are behind all of the makeup and fake smiles, and do not be ashamed of that person.

Cover Image Credit: Demi Agresta

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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If Your Shorts From Last Summer Don't Fit This Spring, Don't Panic Just Yet

Sometimes sucking it in doesn't even cut it.

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We've all been there — you put on a pair of shorts that fit you like a glove last year and they just don't fit the way you remembered. This feeling sucks, but there are plenty of solutions for when your favorite pieces can't quite fit over the love handles.

First off, there's nothing to be ashamed of! It's normal for people to pack on a few extra pounds during the cold months due to lack of outdoor activity, holidays, and overall laziness. Usually, people lose a little extra weight in the summer months by being outside and sweating and eating fresher and healthier foods. So who knows, by the time summer is in full swing, they may fit again!

The obvious answer would be to work out, but I understand that's not for everyone. For those who are looking into getting back into shape for bikini season, a good mix of cardio and lifting three to five days a week will help tone and slim that body down in no time! Make sure that if you start exercising, eat enough nutrients! Some people tend to think if they eat less and work out, it'll help you lose more weight, and yes this is true, but you'll also be losing muscle mass in the long run and this can be detrimental to your health. Getting sufficient nutrients is vital to making sure your body is functioning properly!

For those of you who don't necessarily want to do any formal exercise, eat healthier and go on walks! It's amazing what adding a walk into your day will do for your body! Not only will it help your heart health, but it will tone your legs and help shed some extra pounds. Eating healthy is also pivotal to getting rid of unwanted fat. Diet fads are definitely no way to go. It's not about eating less necessarily but eating what's good for you. Everyone's bodies are different and it will take some figuring out to find what works for you. There are plenty of yummy fruits and veggies in season in the summer, and there's plenty of opportunities to grill out and make some healthy options! Take advantage of this! Whether you're grilling low carb meats and fish or throwing on some veggies for a side dish, grilling is a great way to make healthy meals for you and your family!

For those of you who are fine with the little extra weight you've gained, buy new clothes! Picking out and trying on new clothes can be very fun, but also expensive. If it's not in the budget to head to your favorite retailer and pick out a new pair, head to a thrift store! There are plenty of second-hand options that are not only affordable and cute but environmentally sustainable as well! The fashion industry creates so much unnecessary waste year after year, and you can help cut down by buying second-hand.

With all of this being said, love your body! There are so many different shapes and sizes in the world, and not one person is the same as another, so be proud of what you look like! Whether you're a size XS or a size XXL, everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin. If you're not comfortable with what you look like and wish you could change it, do it! The great thing about our bodies is they're so easy to make changes to. Whatever the case, the weather is warming up and it's almost time to trade those sweats for some shorts and bathing suits!

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