February 23, 2008

Big brown eyes

When I was little, I would go to the home of a childcare provider during the week, while my parents worked. There were several other children there as well.

One day, this babysitter told my friend Debbie that she had beautiful big brown eyes. I was standing next to Debbie, and I asked, "Do I have big brown eyes?" The babysitter said, "No, you have small eyes."

I must have been four years old, and to this day, I still remember this discouraging comment.

I don't worry about my freakishly small eyes any more; I figured out at some point that they're quite normal.

But it's amazing how one thoughtless comment (even a misinterpreted one) can stay with us literally forever (you might remember my comment in this post about my theater professor who thought I should get out of acting because of my lisp).

I don't dwell on that any more, either. It's a part of who I am. Period.

What are you insecure about?

We all have our insecurities. Some of those insecurities have nothing to do with reality and are based on some fantasy we've concocted in our heads. Some have more to do with some mean comment someone made 15 years ago, or the influence of the media, our culture or community.

Some of us let those insecurities hold us back and keep us from achieving the things we want to achieve.

When I was in high school, I worried a lot about how people perceived me, like most of us. I regularly made New Year’s resolutions to "stop being so loud," "stop being a spaz," "try to be more calm," and "mellow out." Sometimes I felt like a real clown. But at the same time I was also telling myself, "Don't let individuality get me down. Be myself." Yes, these are directly from my diary.

But then I became a theater major, and suddenly all those aspects of my personality that I had tried to squash made sense. They fit. I realized, "This is who I am!"

Once I found a way to embrace my quirky qualities, I was a much happier person.

Are you one of those people who lets your insecurities hold you back?

Or are you able to move past those remarks and negative influences, hold your head high, embrace who you are and do what you want to do - regardless of what others might think?

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