That’s they used to say about me. Among other things. That I thought I was better than them for silly things like painting my nails (the norm these days for teenagers to have fake nails let alone painted), writing or drawing. So, as an impressionable 11 year old I stopped it. I started to try and blend in, instead.
I wish I hadn’t.
What if, my 11 year old self HAD realised how special she was? How important it is to stand out, to be an individual. That if people don’t like it, it’s because they don’t understand it, not because it’s wrong.
What if I had believed in myself a little more.
As I find myself increasingly in ‘mean girls’ situations, even at 32, where we place so much value on our outward image rather than our hearts and souls, our highlighters and designer shoes over our kindness and compassion, my heart aches for my 11 year old self.
All those years spent worrying about my image, where I left my self open to abuse, eating disorders and mental health battles, I could have spent exploring with my mind and my heart. I could have spent that time and energy figuring out how best to contribute to this world by simply being present in it.
I want to encourage our young women (and men) to be creative, to get it ‘wrong’, to ask ‘why’ instead of saying yes and falling in line.
I know I’ve spent too many years ignoring my intuition and I’m fortunate enough to have recognised that destructive pattern relatively early in my life. Imagine if I’d always been awake to it – what we are capable of with this freedom of non-attachment?