All or Nothing

Drawing by Abigail Mateer

I constantly try to dim the lights on my presence. I only wear neutrals because I don’t want to draw too much attention on myself. I already have red hair which makes me stand out, no need for more. I do this with clothing and also with my personality.

I hide because I am afraid to let my whole-self shine. I am a born powerhouse and I don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable with all my energy. This started in childhood, I was told to calm down and be a lady. Be seen and not heard, be graceful and not spazzy, be pleasant and not difficult.

In living like that for years, I was locking up my best self. My energy was like a caged tiger acting out through bursts of anger or depression. I couldn’t maintain friendships, I had a hard time connecting to my family. In trying to be someone I wasn’t, I came across as an annoying copy-cat with deep insecurities which only made matters worse. I didn’t fit in anywhere and stifling my truth wasn’t helping me.

I didn’t wake up one day and realize- Oh I just need to be me! Easy peasy!

Hell no.

It took hitting rock bottom, searching for help in dozens of books, facing my fears, my insecurities, and my shadow head on. All of this over the course of a year and just now I am finally starting to live in my truth.

I know I am here to do wonderful things. I want a big life. One in which I carry out every wild idea I get while empowering people along the way. I can’t do this if I am not being my whole self, if I am trying to live someone else’s idea of me. I can and am only me and in that is great power.

Time to release the tiger and get this shit going.