Unapologetically me written over a yellow box

I’ve always been a try-er. I can’t remember a day I wasn’t a part of some challenge I had set for myself. I can’t remember a time where I was just exsisting with no goal in mind. Granted, as a preteen my goals were less elaborate than they are now. “I want to stay up for 24 hours!” I remember, was one early goal. Little did I know I would get to complete this goal many times over ten years later in college.

“I’m going to read this book in two days!” Was another. There was no prize, nobody assuring I completed it, but it was FUN. And that’s why I still do it to this day. I find challenges fun. It’s probably the gamer coming out in me. A quest, a challenge, something to beat and win and accomplish. It gives me motivation, purpose, excitement and entertainment!

I know I can be a bit much for people. I am intense and show all my emotions pretty clearly. I’m excited often and I get loud and overwhelming to those not prepared haha. I have, in the past, felt shame for being the way I am. That negative self talk would set in… “You talk too much, you’re going to overwhelm people, you need to calm down, you need to care less…” I never saw this as negative self talk though, I always thought it was constructive critisism. It wasn’t, it was my insecurities about how others would see me trying to change who I was. Trying to tone me down from a ten to a five. Lower the volume, speak less, don’t be so passionate. WHAT.

Maybe it’s that I have a kid now. Maybe it was just the stars aligning to allow me to see. I would never want Eli to think anything like that! I want him to express himself fully, openly, without shame, without fear of what anyone may think or say. Just be exactly who he is and let the world think whatever they want. I want him to be loud if he wants to and express his thoughts as often as he wants to. So why should I “calm down”? Why should I tone myself down? Why should I feel sorry for overwhelming people?

It’s pretty clear in my mind now. As this lovely woman I met recently, Lindsay Tompkins, says, “If I’m too much for you, then I’m not for you.” I’m going to try all the things, and I’m going to talk about them. I will fail at things and I will more openly share my faliures, and just as openly share my successes. I will try things that seem insane to you. I will try things that you may want to roll your eyes at. But I will try them, and I will have fun with it all. Because just like some people get enjoyment out of movies, video games, going to theme parks, etc, I get enjoyment out of trying new things and seeing how I do. I get enjoyment out of setting weird challenges for myself and trying to complete them.

So if you’re that eye rolling, unsupportive, “Maria is too much,” type person in my life. Chao! And because my word is gratitude for the year, Thank you! Thank you for making me learn some lessons about sticking up for myself, for making me learn that you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, for making me learn that sometimes in life you’re going to be faced with negativity and it has nothing to do with you but with them. All we can control is how we react to situations, so I will continue to grow and work on not getting so worked up when someone is rude or dismissive but rather smile, flip my hair and say “Thank you, NEXT.”

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.” 

— Jen Sincero, You Are A Badass