Being True to Yourself
Over the past year, I’ve really changed as a person. I used to be really shy and prefer a night in my room with my guitar and Netflix over going out with my friends, and now, if I’m in my room for more than an hour at night, I feel like I’m suffocating. I know it sounds weird, but being around people opens me up and I’m able to really talk to anyone and build amazing connections. I have a thing where I talk fast when I’m uncomfortable—and often I’m kind of uncomfortable around new people. I try really hard to get to know people, but I always feel like people are judging me, so that makes me more nervous and I start to stutter. That sounds really bad. It’s not an awful stutter, but it is one. This summer I started opening up more to feel less intimidated by others. For the record, I’m no shrinking violet. I have a very out spoken personality and I have no trouble speaking my mind, but I act like that so people don’t take advantage of me. While on the outside, I seem really unaffected and smiley, on the inside I’m fighting nerves and trying my best to control my speech. There’s always this voice in my head saying “Talk slower, be careful”. I’m constantly in fear of my mouth getting away from me.
Actually, on a side note, I’ve become really good friends with a guy recently—which is rare because I do get caught up in trying to seem cool around guys—and the way I got comfortable around him was really funny. See, this guy is younger than me, by a year, and right when he told me how old he was, I honestly wrote him off as a potential boyfriend and just had this thought in my head of “he’s younger so you don’t need to try to impress him”. It sounds absurd, but it was true! So I acted completely myself around him. I made funny faces and cursed and I wore sweatpants when we hung out. He and I got so close. I had no problem dancing like an idiot around him and being open about my flaws. There’s something so special about really being able to act yourself around someone. There was this wall that collapsed the second I decided I wasn’t going to try to impress him. But if this is the kind of relationship that can spur from the idea of being one’s self instead of acting a certain way in front of judging eyes, why do we bother putting up an act?
Around school, I portrayed myself as this quiet, smart girl that doesn’t curse, doesn’t cheat, and doesn’t offend anyone. I was just there. This sounds dramatic, but after a summer of being the socialite and making all these new friend, losing weight, starting to wear makeup, I’m genuinely terrified of going back and repressing who I am and becoming the wall flower. People from my theatre group and my clubs outside of school know me as this loud, unique girl who’s friends with everyone and always has a smile on her face—but if you described this person to my peers at school, they would be dumbfounded! They would ask if it was some joke. I know that. Part of me is dying to switch schools so I can start over and act like myself from the beginning. My goal for this year is to start easing my real self into school. It’s almost like I’m Hannah Montana, living a double life, but it isn’t the best of both worlds. If I could just be myself and not feel as though people are judging me—which they are; realistically, everyone is always judging—then I wouldn’t be so scared of opening up and acting like myself.
Who knows If I’d even have this stutter if it wasn’t for my sub conscious saying “Act normal, don’t be weird” in front of new people. That’s one of the amazing things about theatre. I don’t stutter when I’m acting because I’m not myself—I’m Cinderella or Annie. I don’t have my problems anymore; instead, I’m overtaking my character’s issues. It’s liberating not having to deal with your own issues temporarily and just being able to let go of them.
I’m not really sure how to end this journal entry, but I guess there’s a lesson to be learned and goals to be set. So, the lesson is to not be scared to be yourself and that most people will hopefully like the real you. And if they don’t: fuck it, you don’t need them. By the way, make sure the real you is at least a little nice, because no one likes a jerk. My goals for this year, regarding this journal entry, are to not be intimidated and nervous in front of new people and to try to open up myself in front of my classmates this year.
Have an awesome day!
Side note: I’m sorry about all of the switching tenses and grammar issues. I decided that I didn’t care enough to fix it and I’d rather go out with my friends. I’ll probably fix it once school starts and I get back into my perfectionist mentality.