One thing I have thought a lot about recently is the fact that I often feel like I can't really be myself. Now, in certain situations like with family and close friends being myself isn't a problem (for the most part). However, when I am around other people I sometimes feel like I hold myself back.
Like I said, I've been thinking about this a lot. I remember being young, like in elementary school. I remember how cruel some of those kids were. There were a couple of instances that I can still remember like they happened yesterday.
1. My dad came on a field trip with us in 3rd grade. Afterward my "friends" refused to talk to me. They called me a liar. I just couldn't understand why. I am a product of an interracial couple. I inherited my mom's complexion so you wouldn't know that unless I told you or you saw both of my parents. I guess I made the mistake of not telling my friends.
2. When I moved from New York down south in the 4the grade I encountered a situation where I was told that I "talk funny". Mind you I've never had a New York accent. Again I was clueless. As a 9 year old it hadn't dawned on me that some of these kids had never been out of the south. So even though I didn't have a New York accent, I didn't speak like they did and so I sounded funny to them.
In retrospect I can see how these events (and I'm sure there were others that I just don't remember as clearly) have helped me to kind of guard myself from others. I have recently gained more confidence in myself. I think it has been a result of embarking on this journey to find out who I really am. Now that I've learned some of the things that I've learned about myself I know that by holding myself back for all of these years I have not only been hurting myself but everyone around me. I don't want to sound cocky or conceited but I do have a lot to offer. I gain a lot from the books, blogs and podcasts that others put out. I have learned that others can and have gained things by reading what I have shared.