I often wonder if other people struggle in the same ways I do, to be authentic and free and whole. As a naturally shy person, I have always been in awe of people who are willing/able to be true to themselves without apology or reservation. It is my heart’s desire to do the same.
Being the child of immigrants, I have spent much of my life trying to assimilate to the social norms of different cultures. Trying to ensure that I am “American enough” (but not too much) and “Haitian enough”, at the same time. I distinctly remember the childhood anxiety of trying to identify which people I needed to greet with a kiss to the cheek versus which people I needed to greet with a hug. I desperately wanted to make everyone happy and say or do all of the “right things” at the “right times” in the “right context”. As a result, I’ve become a people-pleaser, often ignoring what I need in order to ensure the comfort of those that I am interacting with at a given time. I’ve invested so much energy into adapting to the “norms” of every new environment that my life feels fragmented, compartmentalized. I share parts of myself with my friends from school that my friends from church never get to experience and vice versa.
Maybe everyone feels this way, I have no idea. Maybe compartmentalizing yourself is the normal and proper way of approaching life, I don’t know. And for the first time, I don’t care. This is the thing, I don’t want my life to be compartmentalized anymore, even if it is the “right” thing to do. I feel like I am living a lie by omission and I hate it. I want to be bold and unashamed and live life out loud. I want to be fully and authentically me. I want to live a life that makes me proud and excited. I want to grow into a person who is ok with it if people don’t understand or if I don’t fit in, as long as I am being honest with myself and the world about who I am. I created this blog as a space for me to be me. Where all of the compartments of my life come together as one. I am terrified. But I am also excited for this new journey.