Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

I was never one of those easy breezy, outgoing girls.

I always wished I was. I just thought too much.

In college, my girlfriends couldn’t wait to go out and tear up the dance floor. I always went with them. Rain or shine, should-be-home-because-I-have-bronchitis, exam or not, I always went out. But going out and socializing? It didn’t come naturally for me.

I went through the motions, I had a good time, but it never felt like me. I always felt so much more comfortable cozying up in a corner booth, sipping drinks and talking about life.

I felt like a weirdo. Why am I like this? Why can’t I just let go and not care like everyone else?

It seemed to come so naturally to the other girls, too. This easy breezy, love to dance and party, let’s talk about boys type of personality.

And so, I always, always tried to be that, too. I figured me being more quiet and “deep-thinking” was undesirable. It didn’t seem like the usual. It was weird, therefore, I’m weird.

The Beauty of Being Yourself

I tend to be on the quieter side until I get to know you. Then, I’ll chat with you all day. I’m a Gemini, c’mon.

And if you get me on a topic I’m interested in, we’ll instantly become best friends. You want to talk about cats and astrology? Maybe gluten free food and yoga? I’m your girl. Quirky is my middle name.

In all honesty, as I’ve gotten to know myself better, I’ve learned that connecting deeply and quickly with people is my personal super power.

I’m often a trusted confidante to people I just meet. I can’t tell you how many times a new acquaintance has divulged to me some of their deepest dreams and fears.

I may not be the loudest person in the group, but I’m a good listener. And, my gosh, if someone chooses to be vulnerable and raw with me, I’m honored. I always try to make people feel comfortable in doing so.

And to think, for all those years, I thought my introspective, quieter personality made me weird. I so badly wanted to change it. Change me.

But now, what I’ve learned to love about my thoughtful nature is that it’s the reason I’m able to easily form really close, strong relationships with people. For me, having a few deep, meaningful connections is so much more fulfilling than having a wide variety of surface level connections.

I’ve come to learn there’s power in becoming the woman I naturally am. When I was trying to morph into what I thought was “cool”, I was covering up my true nature and dulling the gifts I’ve been given.

Show People Who You Are

I got back into writing this year. I started a blog. And with that, I’ve shared some of my own personal stories and struggles. Sharing my heart, being raw and vulnerable, it’s scary.

Half the time, I’ll push a post live, only to immediately second-guess myself. Is this good enough? Are people totally judging me?

It’s something I think about often. It’s a hurdle I’ve had to overcome. Sharing my writing has been an exercise in learning to validate myself instead of needing other people to validate me.

However, it always, always warms my heart when someone tells me something I wrote helped them or made their day better or made them think. When I hear that feedback, it eliminates any second-guessing I was doing before.

My writing has welcomed conversations with people I had never talked to before. It’s opened the doors for people to talk to me about their own spirituality and beliefs. It’s helped me go deeper in my existing relationships.

When you show the world who you are, you shine a light for others to do the same. You show others that your presence is a safe space to just be yourself. Just being myself has granted me the privilege of others being comfortable to show me who they are, too.

At the end of the day, we want to feel like it’s okay to be ourselves. We want to be seen and accepted for exactly who we are. And the people who are meant to be in our lives will do just that.

But, guess what? Not everyone is going to like you. That still makes the recovering people pleaser inside of me cringe. But it’s true. And it’s okay. Being disliked is the “risk” you face in choosing to be yourself.

Because at the end of the day, here’s your choice. You can choose to be a watered down version of yourself. You appease everyone, go with the crowd, don’t disrupt status quo. Sure, you’re liked well enough, but no one actually knows you. They know this version of you that’s been pieced together by what you think people want.

OR you can choose to be the amazing, flavorful, bodacious human being you truly are. Loud (or quiet) and proud. And when you’re fully yourself, you may be a little polarizing. Some people will think you’re great. Other people won’t.

That’s the point. You’ll build stronger, deeper, more meaningful connections when you’re open about who you are.

Be yourself, dang it. Life is short.