I spent so much of my teenage years molding myself to fit my surroundings and to be accepted by my peers. At the same time I hadn’t given up trying to please my parents. This constant self-monitoring and acting was a big factor in the stress that I encountered. In hindsight, I realize that the friendships I lost hurt a lot at the time because I had worked hard to try to be whatever version of myself worked best for them. I tried to be a different version of Moniqué for different people (which was never really successful). I truly appreciate and value the few friends who saw through that and stuck with me along my journey to being comfortable with myself, just as I am. Around these people, I have literally never felt a need to put on a facade, to speak differently, to dress differently, or to downplay my blessings or my dreams.
I am glad that my parents sent me to be at schools, to be in clubs & sports, to go to camps and to go on trips that allowed me to engage with people of all types of backgrounds. I was able to learn a lot about people and various environments so that I could adapt when necessary. It also allowed me to begin finding who I am. I thank God that I have come to a place where I realized that everyone goes through something, everyone pretends at times, and everyone is different on purpose.
I also thank God for my season of singleness. About this time last year, I wrote a post about being Single and Satisfied. This season has been a journey for me: a journey to being completely comfortable with who I am, comfortable with my thoughts and emotions, confident in the things that I believe, and intolerant of those things which hinder me from prospering. This season gave me the opportunity to make the decision to only engage in those activities and entertain those friendships that give me energy, that give me wisdom, and that give me the connections or opportunities to become who I am and accomplish what I am meant to accomplish.
What’s my point? It’s never too early and never too late to “find yourself.” It’s not that you are lost, but you have to find your confidence, and your comfort in who you are. Flexibility (or Adaptability) is a valuable skill to have, but when you are comfortable being 100% yourself, you are able to gauge when that flexibility turns into acting and that adaptability turns into a facade. I say that it is never too early to find yourself because it makes every other decision easier, and it becomes easier to deal with conflict. However, I want to encourage those of you who feel as though you’ve been someone else for so long that you can’t change now. It’s not too late to find yourself, it’s not too late to BE yourself. One of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes says “…Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Finding yourself, Being yourself, Loving yourself and Valuing yourself makes a world of difference. It gives you a freedom and a peace that is indescribable.
If you read this entire post, I want to say thank you, I appreciate you more than you know. Have a wonderful week!