I should probably preface this post by letting you know that I have been underestimated my whole life. It made for a very defensive lifestyle with A LOT to prove. It governed my career choices and relationships with people. Not pretty. The good news is that Dee grew up! I’m now older & wiser and have learned a few things along the way like how to own my shit and I’m going to be sharing with y’all exactly what that means.
So here are a few important life lessons I’ve learned along the way:
- Better Late Than Never
- I am what you call a “late bloomer”. After years of being compared to other people, I just didn’t apply myself to much of anything. My sister was a straight A student, meanwhile I was the Master of Enjoyment. In fact, whereas most people nurture their talents early on in life, I didn’t fully embrace mine until much later in life. I was raised in a society where education and growing up to have a “good job”, getting married and having kids is imparted very early on. So, I worked on these things ignoring my creative side. People like to say, “Slow and steady wins the race”, but can I suggest that life is not a race at all!? Definitely took me longer to reach these “social standards” and even then, something was missing until I started embracing my love for décor and fashion and sharing that with you. I find the most happiness doing things in my own time especially when it’s what I want, not because someone said I needed to do it.
- Own Your Ish Girl! — Nothing Better Than Embracing Who You Are Good And Bad.
- I have a very vivid memory of being compared to my best friend. She was as perfect as a little girl can be. My earliest memories of her are of her neat (I mean pristine) bedroom, her perfectly ironed and clean school uniform, her excellence in schoolwork, her polite and friendly attitude, and the interest that all grown ups took in her. I on the other hand, I was just Dee (Insert the opposite of everything I just described above). Now that I think about it, I always wondered why she was my friend; we were polar opposites. So when this person asked me why I couldn’t be more like my best friend, I remember thinking “why would I want to be like her?” Even back then, my fierce protection of my own identity was forming. Let’s just say that my current running motto is to “be you”.
- Its ok NOT finish what you start—better to quit if your heart is not in it.
- The last thing my mom said to me before she died was a reminder to “finish what you start”. I remember feeling slightly irritated at the time, but that advice came mainly because, you guessed it, throughout my life I would start things halfheartedly and stop midway—relationships, art projects, cultural dancing (this one I should have NEVER started), med school… It would be years later that it occurred to me that the true message was not to start something If my heart wasn’t in it. Now, without the pressure of failing, I can quickly assess if something is for me or not instead of stubbornly sticking with it and finding I shouldn’t have started in the first place. Thanks mama!
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We all are some variations of our adolescent selves and sadly not all of us grow out of those tendencies. But the beautiful thing that I have come to truly appreciate is that I get better with time. There is something to be said for personal growth and I’m glad for all my experiences good and bad because they molded me into who I am today.