Be you.

Question. Who are you? Do you know yourself? If I asked different groups of your friends to describe you, would their answers be cohesive? Or would I be left wondering whether they actually knew the real you?

Throughout my life there have been people whom I aspired to be like. As a young child it was my mum, in primary school it was my friends and growing up it was my sister and I’m sure there were many more on the way to the content individual I have become. It’s interesting looking back now and examining the reasons I looked up to these people. In retrospect, my adult brain tells me that half of these individuals, or specifically what I admired about these individuals should never have been ‘goals’ for me.

So when did the turning point come? From ‘I want to be like Mary Jane’ to as my friends would say ‘strong, independent woman’. Going from a primary school where the general population was from African descent, to a secondary school where it was relatively Caucasian, was a culture shock to say the least. At this point I realised that there would be nowhere to hide and no one to hide behind. I stood out whether I liked it or not. I remember having an overwhelming desire to be liked when I began secondary school. But years later, thankfully, upon realising that there would be certain people who would probably never like me due to my complexion or my personality; I made a conscious decision to be uncompromisingly me. Although, at that point I probably wasn’t completely clear whom ‘me’ was.

After a painful 18 months of transitioning (growing my hair our of its relaxed state), I remember wearing my natural kinky fro in public for the first time (I had no idea what I was doing at this point- God forbid- but we get through those awkward stages- amen?). But to my dismay (as I said in my last post, I really don’t mind blending into the background) this made me stand out even more. People looked. People stared. People touched (yes I’ve even had so far as strangers touching my scalp -sigh-). Going natural left me with nowhere to hide, it forced me to come to terms with who I am and made me evaluate my European standardised thinking. Something I believe every ethnic minority individual living in Western Society should do.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. {Ps 139:13 NIV}


Nothing grows in comfort zones. This is why we have to go through ‘stuff’, especially when we’re comfortable. If our circumstances don’t change, we most certainly won’t change and our growth will be dormant. Being pushed out my comfort zones, led me to finding myself and eventually liking that person. Finally I’ve realised that the world has enough Mary Jane’s and the world needs me. So I’ve decided to be unapologetically me, to the point now where I don’t know how to be anyone or anything else. And surprisingly I’ve realised that people respect me for that, even if we don’t see eye to eye on my personal views or morals.

Stop adjusting to accommodate people, allow people to adjust to you.

4 Replies to “Be you.”

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