Never let the past hold you back from your future. And, never let what people think of you determine what you can accomplish in this life. Your dreams are attainable. Sometimes, they are closer than they seem. Guess what else? Sometimes, all you have to do is reach out and grab it! -Floetic Soul
Today was one of my best friends 21rst birthday! Her boss and co-workers threw her a party today, which was awesome! Had a great time. But… Yea, I bet you knew there had to be a but coming sooner or later! But yea, something did happen. Nothing dramatic. I just came to the realization that I have a terrible habit of letting my past dictate my future.
When I was younger, I was known as the shy girl, who never spoke a word. Not only that, but I happen to have a quiet tone of voice. So, when I speak loudly, to me, it’s like I’m yelling, but I’m really not. It”s weird, I don’t really know how to explain it. Still, I love to laugh, goof off and have fun, and I have a very sarcastic persona at times. However, a lot of times, that “the real me” is hidden behind my quietness. The fact that I am not the most outspoken individual often drives people away. It’s as if they are afraid to talk to me or something, even if I smile and try to appear approachable, most of the time, it doesn’t work.
I can’t help it that I don’t have as much to say as my friends. I mean, someones gotta listen if everybody else is going to talk right? And all my friends happen to be very outgoing and outspoken, so of course, everybody notices and points out how I’m “the quiet one.” To be honest, I’ve always disliked being known as that. Because my best friends know that I have my loud, wacky moments too.
Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being quiet, or soft spoken. What bothers me, is that people, especially my close friends begin to think that there are certain things I won’t do simply because I’m not as loud or talkative as they are. For example, today at the party, we played a game called Gestures (like Charades). They were hesitant to call me up just to be the gesturer. I had to reassure them that I didn’t mind doing it. I know that may not sound like much of anything… But… I go through things like that all the time.
Yes, there is nothing dramatic about that example. In fact, it’s really not that big of a deal. It’s simply that, I use to be shy, but I am not anymore. In my opinion, being shy, is being reserved, avoidance, and timid. It is more of a fear, being hesitant of interacting/engaging with people/the public. I love meeting new people, talking with people and performing in front of people. Sure, I get hesitant sometimes, and sometimes I run out of things to say if I’m not familiar with certain people, but it’s not something I shy away from. When I was little, that is something that I would do. I was shy back then, and even throughout high school, I was not the the most talkative person. But, I came out of my shell, compared to how I was before, where I spoke no words at all to no one, had no friends, sat and played alone all the time.
Times changed. I changed. Yet, the past continues to haunt me. I still get introduced as the shy girl, who doesn’t say much. That’s when most people automatically get turned off and don’t even bother to converse with me. I find myself constantly having to initiate the conversations, because they don’t think I’m down with that. I feel as if I’m being judged by my past, that sometimes, I start to question my own self. I begin to doubt my own self, when deep down, I know that I am not shy. I start acting like it, simply because it matches the label people have put on me.
Labels don’t and shouldn’t define us, no matter what it is. And the opinions and beliefs, that people may have about us should not determine what we can and cannot do. It is possible to change over time for the better. But sometimes, without knowing it, we can let what other people say and think about us affect us more than we realize.
Maybe it’s just me. I know this is something that I personally have to work on. I can accomplish my dreams of working and performing with and for other people. Who I used to be, is not who I am today. Who I used to be has only effected who I have and will become. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what others say or think. I have to win the battle in my mind. And I am a winner, because I was built for success. So, yes, I embrace the fact that I used to be socially awkward, it’s nothing for me to be ashamed of. Despite the past, my future still looks bright.