For some of us, school and college is an exhilarating and troubling time. We are trying to find ourselves, trying so hard to fit in and be accepted by those we label as ‘cool’ and ‘popular’. A time when we are getting to know our likes and dislikes and our dispositions as humans. It’s a stressful time, a happy time, and a time we don’t easily forget. A tumultuous time of friends gained and friends lost, of love gained and lost and of first heart-breaks. But we get through it and come out the other side stronger and more than a little curious. Then we embark on the next big adventure: University. Being a teenager or a young adult is far from easy. Fear takes over more often than not and makes us doubt ourselves and question whether we are worthy.
Ugliness reared its ugly head when I heard something on the grapevine way back when: a carelessly whispered rumour, a snide comment that ate away at my insides like a moth larvae in a coat closet. It hurt really, really bad. Over-thinking, a speciality of mine, kicked in and led me on a little wild goose chase to find out who said it and why they said it; I wanted a chance to defend myself. It made me question the authenticity of every friendship made and every ounce of joy found within the school walls. We can drive ourselves mad trying to find out the source of those untruths, hoping that it will provide us with some closure, some sort of peace.
Once I’d left school and hopped over to University, everything changed. The people I’d met, the opportunities I’d had, all of the highs and all of the lows, it washed away any bitter memories of those who were less than kind. The reason why I decided to write about this is because I realised something very important: I simply didn’t care about what others thought of me… and you shouldn’t either.
We’re human, and as such every single one of us is blemished and flawed. My biggest flaw is possibly my need to over-analyse everything and doubt myself on every corner, enough to drive me bonkers. However, it’s all in my head. I am my own worst enemy. The sad part is the fact that I’m not the only one guilty of this; we all are.
It all boils down to this: what other people may or may not think of me is none of my beeswax, and vice versa. The more you care about what other people say about you, the more we give them the opening to see us saddened and insecure. Every single one of us is an amazing, interesting and a strong person and we shouldn’t let any one ever convince us otherwise. It will only rob you of your own peace.
Someone, somewhere, sometime ago may have said something about me. But, you know what? After a while, I really didn’t give a damn.
Photo courtesy of art director and designer, Jessica Walsh, via Instagram.