I’ve been so strongly affected by stereotypes, I spent most my life trying to do everything I wasn’t ‘supposed’ to. That’s a problem.

There’s been a lot of self-discovery, and personal growth in things previously known & that I hadĀ no idea existed.

Screw the world and their expectations, be who you want to be! Not who you think you need to be, or are supposed to be. You may become great trying to fit into the mold someone else created for you but you won’t be happy. Not truly. Find yourself, no matter how hard it is. I spent so much time fighting everyone else, that I created my own mold..my own prison. Now I’m fighting myself, and everything I needed to believe.

There’s something freeing. Maybe it’s the discovery or maybe it’s truly being yourself. Either way, I’ve got a long ways to go and many internal struggles yet to overcome but I no longer know the outcome and I’m excited to see where I end up.

I dare you to lose yourself too.

What the heck am I talking about?! šŸ˜›

The Backstory

I hated being dismissed because I was a silly hula girl or model. The empty smile and nod with that oh so frustrating, dismissiveĀ “of course dear”. I started performing around the age of 9. Fast forward a few (or several) years, I’ve almost finished my degree in Computer Science, done an internship, and on my second. I was persuaded to do (the last) “hula job” of my dancing career, because they neededĀ one more girl. It was for a very very large computer company and from hear say, the engineers. I thought it would be interesting, so I did it. That was when it really hit me, not only being a dancer but being a female dancer automatically created a perception that I must be an airhead, no matter what might say otherwise.

Growing up, I had grown accustomed to not being taken seriously, sometimes just as a girl but it was always worse as a performer, even the male dancers were taken more seriously. That was probably the greatest frustration. Although the close second was always being shoved into some box. That people assumed they knew what I was thinking, what I liked, what I didn’t like, why I did something, etc. etc. .. because it’s “how girls are”. The worst was that I almost never agreed, but if I ever voiced that disagreement? AGAIN, dismissed. They had it all figured out. I was a girl and that was all they needed to know.

This wasn’t the only problem growing up.

Going back in time. The less known is that I had seriousĀ concentration issues. For only part of one year, in 3rd grade, I had a teacher that really cared about that struggle. In fact, most teachers not only thought I wasn’t smart, but treated me like I was stupid because I couldn’t have work done on time. I always struggled to work within the constraints the school had placed. Mornings?? I never got any work done, but that was always the largest chunk of work time. After lunch I’d be ready to go, my mind was focused, and I actually enjoyed a lot of the work in front of me. But then I’d get torn away, because that was when we “needed” a break. I remember even asking a teacher if I could stay and do my work, instead of going on break. (The answer was no) I was constantly being yelled at, “get back to work!”, “stop daydreaming”, as if I could help it. I honestly didn’t even realize, my eyes wondered to the ceiling, head in my hands, mind in a totally different world. Year after year, it was so hard trying to keep my mind focused at the times they said to concentrate, that I truly stopped caring. IĀ consciously decided to stop caring.

We place people into these pretty, organized set of boxes. Yea, I’m guilty too! If the person doesn’t fit? It’s not the box, it’s the person that’s the problem. If you’re like me you hated those definitions, and at times, maybe even the people enforcing those rules. At some point, very early on, I decided I needed to prove everyone wrong, it became my life’s goal. It didn’t matter what I liked, thought, wanted, needed, hated. If someone told me to do it, I made sure I never did. It is so close-minded, and entrapping. For the longest time I couldn’t even see how that affected me and I bet most people don’t realize their own mental blocks holding them prisoner.

Since this realization, I’ve made it my new goal to question and address my decisions and reasoning. It is, to say the least, eye opening. It may truly be one of the best things a person can do for themselves. It can be hard but it is worth it.