I have a confession to make.
This topic has been on my mind for a long time and I just want to get it off from my mind.. through writing, haha.
Way before, I used to be this (insecure) girl who used to love the feeling of being “validated” and “accepted” by being a people-pleaser. I would be so sad or would take it so personal if somebody didn’t “like” me.
I constantly made effort .. and “fought” for acceptance from my family, my friends, loved ones and peers.. tried to suppress my own uniqueness.. for them, not anymore thinking about myself. I would do things with wholeheartedness because I liked “the feeling” of earning that approval I worked hard for.
I was this girl who filled up a jar of notes with “damn” written on those. I would even be so “nice” to even consider buying another jar.. for me to fill it up with more notes and paper strips. I had jars of “damn” about everything.
Then one day, I realized that even if I bought more jars of me giving a damn about the world and their opinion… some people would not even think once for them to write a note of care for me. I realized that being too nice to the point of being gullible is actually not nice.. and is actually a bad / stupid thing to do. And that I shouldn’t even seek for acceptance / approval from the wrong crowd in the first case. And the quote below is downright true. 😀
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” ― Dita Von Teese
I remember having a super random conversation with my brother about love and relationships (lol awkward?). He would always tell me that I am definitely not that simple / typical girl (in Filipino, “Kaila kakaibang babae ka.”). At first, I was worried about that (and it’s funny now because I reacted that way, instead of the opposite haha). My self-esteem was then so low .. and maybe that’s the reason why I felt that way / thought of it as a negative statement / as a weakness. After my first </3 / rejection years ago, I felt that I would never ever be attractive as a girl again. And I felt that way because that time, I was still a “girl” who gave a lot of excessive / iranai care about what my “loved ones” / people in general think about me. But now, after learning a lot and moving on from the sad things that had really empowered me instead.. I thought that I should aim to become an unapologetic woman instead, who should love her own quirks, flaws, and unique imperfections instead of giving a damn about the opinion of others. After gaining confidence (first step: accept yourself 100% haha. I love my curls and curves haha), I began to surround my life with real positive experiences. I began to attract the right people, right environment.. and along the way, the filter part of the wrong crowd just came naturally. Who cares if I’m no simple girl? The right person will love me for being me, even if I’m simple or not. It’s not about being -less complicated-, it’s about being true to yourself. Sometimes, I would even surprise my old-fashioned / conservative parents when I come out of my room looking extra colorful when I go out. It used to bother me when my mom would look from head-to-toe.. now I’m just… “Here I am in all my glory.” .. and “Yes, I’m going out with this. :D”. :)))
There was a time that I did try to “tone down myself” the best way I could, so that people would generally like me. I loved the idea of being “liked” to the point that I put myself in a dangerous situation wherein people really loved me.. but not for who I really was/am. Honestly, I am really uncomfortable with the idea to fool other people about who I am really is, and who I am… so eventually, I got tired and fully embraced my true sparkling rainbow self, haha. Why should I make myself miserable by pleasing everyone + continue hiding my shiny personality? Why should I apologize for being.. my natural self? Why? And what for? Now, it doesn’t make sense to me to be unreal now.
Eventually, because of many life-changing experiences (which I am very grateful for, because I couldn’t imagine myself experience these crap when I’m already 30.. I’m like, bring all the crap now so I can learn already haha), I began to mature and grow up. I even call myself crazy now, haha.
Before, I would diagnose myself with self-imposed depression. I would get really sad when I encounter such situations… and I would make myself appear as a victim of circumstances. I would question why some people, even if I am at my most genuine / sincere self to help out.. would do not-so-good things towards me in return (this is why we shouldn’t have expectations, because it is indeed the root of all sadness haha). I would ask myself and even criticize myself so harshly for being so stupidly “nice”.. when it is not even 100% my fault that things would turn out not-so-good. I realized that things happen and it’s not because you have the control over those.. it’s just, things do happen. And some people are really just like that. How they treat you is a reflection about what they feel about themselves, and you don’t have to feel sorry about your actions always instead. I used to adjust around people so much, so that there would be harmony, sacrificing my own happiness by being unreasonably selfless. In the end, for every sad encounter, I would blame myself. The older I get, I have realized that these are all part of what we call.. life. The only thing I could control from my side is the way I see things. My perspective. And I shouldn’t linger in an environment that would only pull me down.
And that was the point when I finally started to learn to let go of unnecessary baggage. I started to dispose the extra “jars” of damn I bought from before. I realized that I should only give a damn (and save that 1 jar of damn for what really matters) about people who actually matter in my life, and these are… my family and real friends who love me not only when I am successful, but also when I need to pick myself up. I still care a lot about the world, that is why I use “kawaii” to try to make a difference in this world. But my care has its own limits now. It’s not giving care to expect people to do the same. It’s about giving care, and leaving it up to them if they will give it back, or they will abuse it. Giving a care about the world, but not giving a care what the world says about it. Just do good, and never expect for the world to be good towards you in return. Just be reasonably hopeful and surprise yourself if they do the same towards you. 😀
“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” is too true. Either way, it’s their choice, their decision how to handle things from their end. And life seems easier and happier when you decide to resort to maturity.
And lastly, I love this guide.