Be yourself – because everyone else is already taken.

9 Oct

In psychology class this semester we spent a session as well as an essay and activity finding out our own personal strengths and weaknesses. We discovered through an online survey our neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness levels as well as how we would position ourselves in a management team in comparison to our other group mates. It was an activity to enable us to know our personalities and ourselves better and to allow us to perform to our best abilities by being who we are and doing what we can.

However, this activity did much more for me that what was produced in class. It brought back a lot of memories of the times where I was not confident in myself, where I did not know things about myself that I know now, and it was a time where I was simply in the background being a mold for others to label and others to define and become who they need and want. I used to be what one would call a ‘loser‘ in middle school. It was the year my mother left and I was fat, not exactly the brightest and i failed at every team i tried out for (except for swimming, but i never won anything in that.) My sister was the schools ‘jock’, she was popular, extremely pretty and even though she was not bright, she had every boy chasing after her. I was known in my school for 13 years as “Jamies little sister”. I did not have a name, and i was just another face in school unless i was forced to be with my sister, because even she did not want to be seen with me or stand up for me. Her friends would call me fat, and i would barely have any of my own friends.ImageImage

My first year of highschool I became the freak – I became anorexic and fainted while running in a race, and had nurses and counselors force feeding me. After this I started bulimia and until now it is a habit that occasionally cannot be prevented. I became a terrible alcoholic and smoker and was out every weekend partying and experiencing all the things a 13 year old shouldn’t be. I barely passed all my classes and the worst part about it, is that my dad didn’t seem to care. This was the year a family member died of breast cancer and the same year my sister left – this was the beginning of my sophomore year, and I as well as everyone else thought it would be the end of me, I was watched carefully and everyone knew it.

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My sister was always my idol, she was who I wanted to be, she had everything I wanted (especially the attention from my dad) and she was my inspiration. I wanted to know what she thought about me, what she had to say, and everything little criticism would affect me greatly and at times hurt me and make me remember her words until now.

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10th grade was a year I experienced depression and i got into an abusive relationship where i was pressured into things i didn’t want to do, where i fell in ‘love‘ and did stupid things and hurt the people who were trying to help me. This was the year where I had a traumatic experience with my dad that would change me.

I was so used to being someone else, to being who I thought I deserved to be, to being what society expected, to being what my sister was and to being someone I thought my dad would pay attention to. I was terrible and I felt terrible – I was tired of being 2nd best in the family, and being unnoticed in school. After the traumatic experience with my father, I started being myself. I spent the summer before my junior year studying, preparing for college, setting goals, exercising and working. No one believed in me but I came into school with a drivemotivation and a strong will. I was going to shine, I was going to be myself, and I was going to succeed. I did what I wanted to do, and what I had to do without listening to what others had to say about me. I was able to achieve my success due to my high neuroticism level, my average extraversion, my average openness and agreeableness and my high conscientiousness levels. It wasn’t all smooth sailing in my last 2 years of high school – I was still called names such as a ‘bitch’, ‘corrupt’, boring and too serious, and of course I was still affected but I kept to myself, did not go out, did not drink or do drugs and I was able to achieve all my goals and finally get noticed. I made my mark in my school, I broke records and I did what was never done before, because of who I was and who I wanted to be. I had now a ‘little sister’ that wanted to be exactly like me and to be with me all the time, i spoiled her and played with her and taught her everything i knew, because i knew how it was like to be rejected and i wouldnt want anyone to feel that way. People now wanted to hear what I had to say, people learned from me and I had young girls looking up to me and to be like me – in my mind though, I was no role model, and with great power comes great responsibility.

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I will not say I am confident because everyone knows I am one of the most insecure people youll meet, and im shy unless I know you well. I will not speak my mind because I don’t want to hurt feelings like once was done to mine many times. I want to be liked by people and I don’t like being called names or teased, especially about my weight or appearances. I still feel like im on the outs of society and I will always be ‘the fat stupid useless kid’ in my own head. Though on the outside I may seem ‘tough’ or that I have it all, but I am greatly affected by what people say, I am still haunted by the memories of the past and my insecurities and inability to trust as well as my emotional instability has proven to be my downfall and ‘Achilles heal’ more than once on my strive to become successful. The activity proved to myself that yes, I still don’t trust others because i feel like they are ‘out to get me’, and I don’t believe people when they compliment me. The activity affirmed my knowledge of myself that id rather be alone at home than participating in a drinking session or outing with a bunch of people.

The greatest lesson i learned, is that you have something no one else does – yourself. You have your strengths and opinions and ideas and you must use them to enable your success. You wont always be liked, you cant please everyone, and there are at times you will fail. But as long as you stay true to yourself, your morals and your values then no one else’s opinion should greatly affect you. (though constructive criticism is necessary and helpful at time =])

When you are at the top, everyone wants to bring you down – but id rather be at the top with everything I want for myself and being whom i want, then at the bottom tearing people down. I learned that there is no one else in the world like you and all your experiences, whether good or bad, has formed you to be who you are today. Things will get better and you must not lose your freedom to dress the way you like, do the things you like, and say the things you like, because your freedom is your greatest gift. Don’t conform to society because what do they know? Be yourself… because everyone else is taken.

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