The Truth about Insecurity

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Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

I’m not the most secure person– I second-guess myself, question my talent, doubt my abilities, and undermine myself. I’m only human after all, I think we all do this more than we realize.

When I published my book two years ago, I didn’t think anyone would read it, let alone like anything I had to say. I did it to just get my work out there.

When I committed to Week of Welcome, I didn’t think my WOWies would like me, I figured I would be just another person in their lives to fit into the collage of what Cal Poly becomes to them.

And two weeks ago when I took a photo holding a whiteboard, my loopy handwriting scrawling across, containing words that I felt defined me, I wanted to take that photo back. I felt awkward, not at all cute like I had hoped, I thought the lighting would be off, and my whiteboard was so much less creative or cool than anyone else’s.

Then became a published author, I turned out to be a great WOW leader whose WOWies love me (so they say), and I took that photo and I shared it on Facebook to let in the flood of reactions that may or may not go to my head. I got proven wrong.

Because more often than not, what we do will always matter to someone.

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Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

So why do we hesitate to do it?

I’m talking about voting… Why does it seem like my generation doesn’t vote? Possibly because we feel like whatever actions we take don’t matter. Quite frankly, whether we vote or not, it makes a difference. Because it can so easily come down to one vote, just like it did at my University two weeks ago when voting to suspend the fraternity who committed the blackface offenses last year. It came down to one.

We could be that one, if we used our rights and our privileges to do something about it. Trust me, with the way the government is turning these days, this matters.

I’m also talking about education, and not just in schools. Schools have their own systemic issues that need to be addressed, right now let’s focus on us. I mean in our everyday lives when we see something wrong, a microagression here or casual sexual harassment there; it’s our job to say something. So maybe the Brett Kavanaughs of the world are stopped before they get nominated for the Supreme Court.

Isn’t one injustice enough to see that something is wrong?

In the end, I’m really just talking about society. The way so many of us seem to put our jobs or our schoolwork or our accomplishments up for judgement when deciding whether or not we are doing enough.

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Photo by Simon Shim on Unsplash

It comes down to how well we do our work, how many positive comments we get back about a presentation, or  the GPAs I know that it feels like college students need if they’re going to get anywhere.

We need to realize that our securities– how we feel about our accomplishments or our voices or our knowledge– all come down to one person: ourselves.

If we feel like our voices don’t matter in voting, do it anyway. Then do it again. And again. And again. Keep proving yourself wrong; one voice can be all it takes to hear the right words.

If we feel like what we know isn’t everything we need to know, keep learning, keep reading, and keep the doors open for finding something new. The day we stop learning is the day a part of our lives gets left behind.

And if we feel like what we do, who we are, or the life we hold isn’t enough…

Surround yourself with people who never make you feel the need to be more than you are, remind yourself that there is only one of you and being 1/7.44 billion is okay.

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Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

We are all human after all. Sometimes it’ll feel like our actions, our voices, and our beings just aren’t big enough to matter. If I have learned anything in the past year, it’s that no matter how small a person or an voice or a smile in this world might seem, it can change lives.

So use and be proud of what you’ve got.

Redefining a Home

aman-bhargava-282998-unsplashOn Tuesday, I shared a piece of who I am with you through a poem that I never thought I could write.

I never thought I would so openly talk about what my minority definition means to me— as a student, as a woman, as another human being living the way we do… When I showed up on this campus eighteen months ago, I didn’t quite picture myself writing something like that, let alone allowing it to be shared on a stage or on my own blog.

I only wrote it, I only shared it, because I needed to.

After graduating high school, my transition to college was filled with a lot of turmoil within both this school and myself. I wasn’t sure how I fit into this new school I was supposed to be calling home when it only felt like a temporary place. I’d like to say that in my second year here, it all makes sense now and I understand where I belong.

But I don’t understand, you knew I was going to say that didn’t you?

If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t have the majority of my writing in the past year and a half if I had found anything I thought I was looking for here.

The one thing I seem to have found, what I wasn’t even looking for, was my voice.

I’m starting to think maybe that’s the home I should have been seeking out in the first place. The idea that this is the point— not quite finding a home, or half of what I thought I wanted or needed.yeshi-kangrang-258234-unsplash.jpg

Each time I thought I had found what I was looking for, I’d take a step back with the prize in my hands only to look down and be… Disappointed. My expectations got in the way, what I thought it was supposed to be.

I got in my own way.

Trying to make this place into everything I wanted it to be somehow managed to make it feel like the opposite. There are some people who can’t find what they’re looking for, so instead they make the best out of what they’ve got or they go out there and make it for themselves. But me?

I’m more of a follower. At least I thought I was.

With that piece, with my life and my decisions here… My hands start writing and my mind decides to follow.

I’ve been writing for a long time now, finding the slightest feeling of escape through whatever I manage to put down on paper. But more than the classes or the people or the area, I’ve learned something bigger more than what I thought I was coming here for.

I’m learning to make a home out of myself. To finally follow my own instincts without second guessing or expecting anything, but simply hoping for the best.

Do you ever look in the mirror and dislike the way your hair curls in a certain direction or one eye opens a little bit more than the other? Sometimes I’ll write something (or paint something), know it is absolutely awful, and have to find a way to be okay with that. To accept whatever comes out of what I can do in the moment. To make a home out of the flaws.

lea-bohm-439491-unsplashBecause in a way, that’s what life is the things don’t always go as planned. That’s what my writing is when I put pen to paper— you make do with what you have, what you feel you need to do, and take it all as it comes. You adjust.

I know it sounds trite but coming from someone who never quite saw class as optional when you need a day off or truly understood how to be okay my own truths, it takes a lot to make a home out of the temporary places and our flaws.

It takes a lot to be honest with ourselves and sometimes, each other. That doesn’t mean we can’t. It just means we have to be okay with it first.