I believe that everyone should embrace who they are, and be proud of their unique traits, but how can I do that if I don’t even know who I am? I always knew that I was just going to be myself, and see where life takes me, but it hasn’t been that simple. I am a good student with great grades, I have amazing friends who support me through anything, my family is wonderful, so what else could I possibly be troubled with?
Relationships were never really my thing. I always was just comfortable with having loving friends and family, and I thought I could be complete that way. I would see my friends drooling over different people, but that never really happened to me. Until him. He was tall, smart, funny, every little thing he did seemed perfect. I couldn’t really seem to understand why I felt this way, but I still took it and ran with it. We became very close, to the point that we may have even been best friends. All of my friends could attest that we were inseparable, and everyone knew we had feelings for each other. We eventually started a relationship after a while of crushing on each other. It felt unbelievable, like I never thought. I finally got to understand what my friends felt like when they swooned.
Yet, when we were together, it felt like something was missing. I knew deep down that it felt a bit strange for me, but I pushed that aside, thinking the more we were together, the less unsure I would feel. Eventually, the relationship became worse and I needed to break it off. Being away from that relationship made me feel relieved in a way. Of course I still missed him, but I simply seemed to miss his company, not his affection.
After that, I didn’t try to find another relationship. I didn’t want to deal with all that drama again. Yet whenever she walked by my locker, my heart would skip a beat. When she laughed at my jokes, I could feel myself blushing. Whenever she gave me a hug, it felt like time would stand still. I thought that this was usual behavior, considering we were best friends, and I loved her dearly. But she didn’t make me feel like everyone else. She made me feel special. Like I was the only person in the world. I couldn’t ignore these feeling, but I could suppress them, so that’s what I did.
One day, while I was grabbing my things from my locker, I received a text from her. I immediate snatched my phone and opened up the notification. It read “Hey, come by my locker real quick <3.” My heart started racing. I quickly grabbed my backpack and booked it to her locker. When I got there, she stood tall, over my panting self. She told me that I was special and she liked me as more than a friend. When I tell you that my heart stopped beating, I mean I probably could have been pronounced dead for a couple minutes. She grabbed my hand and asked me if I felt the same.
My mind was racing. Did I feel the same? How do I know? Why does her smile make me weak at the knees? Is she more than my friend? Do I have a crush on her? Of course I did, but was that correct? Am I allowed to feel this way? What would everyone think? How would people react? “I do feel the same way,” I heard myself say. It felt like a giant weight got lifted off of me. It didn’t matter what everyone else thought, it matter what I knew was true.
After that day, I began to discover myself and who I was. I knew that I would love who I loved and that it didn’t matter what other’s said. I also knew that men definitely did not float my boat.
When we know who we are, but we don’t want to embrace it, it can make use self-loath or become someone we aren’t meant to be. Remember, you are who you are meant to be, so embrace it.
Which of your identities are most important to you? Do you ever feel like you can’t fully be yourself? If you don’t, how does that affect you? Is there anything you learned about yourself that made you happier after you found out?