“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Wiliamson
Parking this quote here in the hopes that Timehop will remind me in one, two, three, four, five years. We live in a society that encourages and discourages us to shine. It’s confusing, isn’t it? We’re pushed to go after our dreams and be who we want to be but once we reach that, we’re faced with people who call us names and talk about us when our backs our turned.
As a kid, I was unstoppable. I volunteered for school performances without batting an eyelash. I had so much confidence in my skills and back then, I didn’t care about what people had to say about me. I wanted to perform, period. I was very active in sports, too. I would run around the school and play tag with my classmates despite my difficulty in breathing. My asthma did not stop me, and I would even brag about my brand new scars to my doctor while being reprimanded for violating his orders. Those were the days when labels did not matter. While my classmates thought I was cocky for being present in every performance, I ignored them because deep in my heart I knew I was good. I had confidence in my skills and I was more than happy to show people what I was capable of. I WAS NOT AFRAID TO SHINE.
Things changed when I transferred schools. I was an easy target because I was a transferee and my complex way of thinking was perceived as an abnormality. I was not part of a group and I was ostracized most of the time. I was called a crybaby, wimp, weirdo, ugly, fat, stupid, feelingera, etc. In high school, I was made fun of because I did not have the curves. I retreated back to my shell and decided I am not good enough. I became quiet, reserved, and opted out whenever opportunities to audition for school performances were given. I tried so hard to please people but the more I did that, the more I lost myself. I found comfort in writing, reading, drawing, singing (in the bathroom), and crafts. In college, I managed to break free but there were days when their words still haunted me.
Fact: my secret dream is to perform on stage. I would fantasize about it, I would sing and dance in the shower while pretending that my fans are cheering for me. There are notebooks with pages that have my signature because I used to pretend that I was signing books, photos, and cd covers for my fans. The closest I got to that dream was back in 2009 when I hosted Qlets & Co. – a kiddie television show that aired every Sunday on QTV. It’s a job I enjoyed doing despite the stressful work hours.
During an art therapy session five years ago, I was asked to draw flowers. I painted cute ones and when my therapist saw this, she asked me to paint bigger flowers over them. For some reason, I cried when I saw my painting. My therapist then said :
“You know why you’re crying? It’s because you are afraid to shine. That’s why the flowers you painted are small. You know deep in your heart that you are good but you choose to hide in the shadows because you are afraid of what people will say about you. Some will love you, some will hate you. Their words may hurt you but at the end of the day what matters is you go out there and do your best. Stop hiding. Go out there and shine.”
Whenever I look at that painting, I remember my therapist’s words. The truth always hurts but we need to hear it. I am guilty of hiding. I would rather have people like me even if it means letting go of who I am but the thing is, this life is not about who they are. It’s about who WE are. I’m not saying I’ve reached that level where people can call me names and I won’t feel a thing because I still get hurt and I still second guess myself. What I’m saying is, we should focus more on who we want to be than on who this society wants us to be. Right now, I’m trying to zero in on the dreams that I put on hold because I was busy trying to please other people. I just realized that I’ve been doing myself and the people who love me and believe in me a huge disservice by hiding so that other people won’t feel insecure around me.
I guess I’m writing this because I want to go back to this entry just in case I ever doubt myself again in the future. If this entry happens to inspire someone then that’s even better. This year started at a very low point and I’m just grateful for the people who became my spine. I want to put more premium on the people who believe in me and just learn whatever lesson it is that I need to learn from those who don’t.
My dreams scare me. Big time. To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be able to achieve them or if I’m even worthy but I still want to try. It’s tempting to just go back to my shell but I also know that I am not getting any younger and I only have one shot at this. I believe it’s time to spread my wings and fly.