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Unapologetically You

by Takhia The Teacher

In a conversation with my teenage niece some time ago she said, “I kept thinking she is so strong and smart, why is she putting up with this?” The “she” was referring to ME and the “this” was the absolute madness of being in a relationship that was verbally, emotionally, mentally, and had even been physically abusive. My answer to her was simple, “For a while, I was not myself.” Her one little question sparked a plethora of thoughts and emotions. The first was the thought/reminder that you never know who is watching you: 1.) Observation 2.) For Guidance I later learned, is that she holds me in very high esteem, even deems me valuable to her growth. Secondly, knowing that she is watching me became my motivation to continue on the path of healing that allowed this conversation to take place, to begin with. Third, was the quick flash of my life that lead to the reflection and conclusion that for a number of years, I was in fact, not myself. The fourth reveal is that at some point, I’m going to write books, (one for teens and another for adults … stories for another day, knowing these blogs are going somewhere and not for monetary gain but for those who pursue the knowledge!) -My job in life is to teach. And I’m learning that there’s no specific subject tied to it.


Self Reflection

Let’s take a moment and go back before we dive into the forward. Have you gone through a phase of life where the only explanation that you can offer is that “you weren’t yourself” or, as we sometimes say “I’m not my normal self.” Have you reached the place where you sit back and ask yourself “What in the world am I doing and why??” But you really don’t have an answer for any of it, or when you begin to start thinking about the answer, it brings up way to much pain so you stop, end it, promise to pick it back up but never do because it hurts that much? I’m going to encourage you to pick it back up, and if it’s too painful to do alone, then seek the help of a trusted friend, a pastor, or see a counselor. It will hurt temporarily but the outcome will be far worth any of the pain.

The Upbringing I can say that in retrospect of myself. I had a pretty normal upbringing. I had a two-parent home. They both worked, my sister and I were well-supported, well-cared for, and in relation to many people we know (although it took adulthood to admit it), we were more or less deemed spoiled. We did what we were supposed to do, we went to school, we got good grades, we served in church, we were good, kind, respectable young ladies. And so the reward for adhering to those things was the privilege of my parents. In school, I was smart, didn’t talk much, wasn’t interested in really being too social and definitely not popular. I knew people, I had friends, but I stayed in my circle, got good grades, went off to college and lived life. Under the arc of safety of my parents, home that was all easy and great. In college, not so much. Still quiet, still the church girl, still who my parents raised, I began to downplay who God created me to be because “boys didn’t want to date smart girls,” or girls who were perceivably smarter than them. I started college as an engineering major and graduated as a math major, makes life hard when you see girls who are Psychology and English majors always with boyfriends and dates and you’re spending your weekend in the library. (Not shading either major, this was my perception of life in my 20’s! Please forgive me!!) So I graduated and began working in a bank but at the time I was in pursuit of a masters degree, but few knew because it was safe to be a bank teller. A graduate student in applied math?? Then one day, I woke up, or should I say, God woke me up! I was listening to a group of middle school girls talk at an after school program. One of them was so extraordinarily gifted and brilliant. We were having a very good conversation until a boy that she liked walked over, and all of a sudden, she didn’t know anything anymore. This same girl just moments before had single-handedly figured out and explained the solution to an entire engineering challenge and all she did was look at it. Within 5 minutes of his arrival, she let go of her entire thought to take on his and never once spoke up about what she knew. It made me sad but I heard God say, “This is you right now. Stop hiding who I made you to be. Be you!” I want to admonish you today to be unapologetically you. The only person who should ever intimidate you is yourself. Push yourself forward. Strive to be a better woman than you were the day before. And guess what? You don’t ever have to get it right all in a day or any day for that matter or be perfect! You just have to be willing to grow. Learn from your mistakes and make the choice to grow past them. And once you grow and begin to heal, share that with others. Just as in the case of my niece, you never know who is watching your journey. Do not let the thoughts, feelings, opinions of others hinder your growth. Grow anyway!

They say you’re too smart, so what? Learn anyway! They say you’re too ambitious or goal-oriented, so what? Be confident without being prideful in the fact that gave you wisdom to do some things along with ability and know-how and do them anyway! Be the you that He has designed you to be. The world has enough copy cats. Be the one true original you!

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