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It was my first day of school in the US and besides being the new kid, I started half way through the academic year of the 8th grade. I was scared, didn’t speak any English and I wasn’t the kind of girl who’d find her way around or make friends easily. So I decided to pretend.
I stiffened my face and pretended to be tough. I started school with an attitude that wasn’t me at all. I walked with my head held up, didn’t look at anyone, I seemed to be always angry with someone…and to my surprise, it worked! Nobody had the nerve to bully me, even though I didn’t speak any English, wore no make up, dressed like a young child and didn’t belong to any group of friends.
How many times have we pretended to be someone we’re not, so that we can hide the person we truly are? You’re going through a problem in your family and in order for people not to notice the swollen eyes from the tears you shed the night before, you put on heavy make up, then the glasses, and avoid looking anyone in the eye.
Some of us have gotten so good at acting; we should even get an Oscar! The problem is that the more we hide who we are, the farther away we get from being fulfilled. Soap actors usually have a hard time being who they are in real life after playing another character for so long. Some need to take time off to remember their true personality, but they still end up doing similar things as their characters do. Now imagine, what about those people who pretend all their life?
When you’re not being yourself, you’re someone not good enough because the very thing that makes you different from everyone else is gone. Everyone is unique and this is what differentiates them from the other person. It’s unfortunate how many women lose this quality of themselves. It’s like a cheaper version of yourself.
Imagine having a she-robot for a friend. Everything you tell her to do, she does. Everything you tell her to wear, she wears. She likes everything you like and hates everything you hate. At first you’ll feel great about yourself, but after a while, will you still feel like having her around? Someone who has no personality or her own thoughts is such a bore!
If you want to be fulfilled and happy with yourself, the first thing you need to do is be yourself. Stop pretending or copying other women, and thinking you’re still not good enough.
Secondly, let God be your role model. If you try to be like Him, you’ll be copying the original version–what you were supposed to be in the first place, instead of moulding yourself into characters like pop-idols, supermodels, and superstars. The wise woman looks up to God and behaves as He would behave, talks as He would talk, loves as He would love.
If there’s something you want to copy from me, copy my faith and my desire to speak, see, and live like God.
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Cristiane, this is excellent. You caught me from the first sentence and your example of acting tough so you'd cope with life in a new country and new school.
This was such a clear message and one that probably most of us need to be reminded of.
This sentence really jumped out and hit me: "When you’re not being yourself, you’re someone not good enough because the very thing that makes you different from everyone else is gone." How very true!
I'll be keeping an eye out for your work in the future.
With love, Deb (Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine and Challenge Coordinator)