Shedding My Pretend Skin

I’ve been thinking about things recently (don’t worry; not deleting this blog LOL), and I wonder about my frame of mind when it comes to Tumblr.

It’s not Tumblr’s fault, but my brain somehow rewired itself to accommodate the information overload on my dash. In the now six years I’ve been on Tumblr, I’ve learned so much about other cultures, racism and prejudice, feminism, reproductive rights, religion, etc. Yet I question my way of thinking as a result.

My thoughts are connected to the urge to please people. That’s what I learned in high school, or throughout my life in general, to stay in someone’s good graces; while I’ve spent years trying to undo the behavior and learn to truly think for myself, I’m reverting back to my old ways. It’s easier to play along, but I’m not my full self. Once people/followers leave my life, I’m a hollow shell, not knowing much of what to do without them around.

It takes me some time, after wasting much of it deciphering what went wrong, to comprehend that I need to think and do for myself. Yeah, people come and go, but I don’t need to create life around them just to keep them around.

Also, what may be comfortable to me may not be comfortable to others. But I’m fully aware that because of this, I don’t need to change myself to benefit them. So why do I continue to do it?

At some point or another in our lives, many of us meet people we like, whether it’s what we see on the outside or their personality that attracts us, like moths to a flame. But over time, the people we were once attracted to become either boring or do things that go against our personal beliefs (and those beliefs are not always religious). I’ve always wanted to fit in, but I’ve also always wanted to make some kind of impact, leave a footprint behind for others.

I have experienced the other side, being the one people are attracted to, and have struggled to keep it going. It wasn’t long before I realized many of them are attracted to me as I am, which is what I want. But for some reason, there’s the internal (and sometimes external) pressure to keep up the celebrity, and in order to do that, we have to do certain things to keep people interested.

I’ve always wanted to be famous, because it seemed so glamorous, and I’ve always wanted to prove my worth through the excitement of other people seeing someone as awesome as me in the public eye, just as I am. The only thing keeping me from that spotlight: I’m not willing to do just anything for it. I’ve not made a sex tape or taken nude photos (I’m sure that wouldn’t be a pretty site, anyway, nor am I brave enough to do either), nor would I want to do a reality show, considering what they’ve come to be nowadays. I have thought about it, though, but I’m not one for confrontation. And I don’t want to change myself for the sake of making other people comfortable and unthreatened, for I’m a Black woman.

Seeing what the famous go through on a daily basis (being told what to do/say, what to wear, which projects to take on), I rather appreciate my privacy, paparazzi not standing outside of my home or a restaurant I’m eating at just to get a photo or provoke a reaction from me.

Periodically, I ask my followers for any questions they may have for me, and I’ve been lucky enough to not get anon hate; the ones I have gotten were few and far in between, and I know to delete them if need be.

These days, I’m not too hesitant to speak my mind on something (although many times I either write it in my notebook just to get it out or put it under a cut), and if someone doesn’t agree, it’s okay. They don’t have to, and I don’t have to agree with them. It’s called agreeing to disagree, or compromise. I do, however, take much consideration to what I’m writing, which I still wonder about. There are words I use that are policed by people who are ridiculously sensitive to them, and it makes me questions political correctiveness, specifically in cases of race.

At this point of my life, I should never have a problem being myself. The realization that racism still exists, and that I’m a Black woman living in a White Male World, is a reminder that life isn’t going to conform to make me comfortable. I have to do that for myself. I’m not going to be liked by everyone, regardless of exterior or interior, but I need to love myself, and things will only get better from there.

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