|Inspiration for the night: Abi Portillo
“We should stop being the kind of woman who keeps apologizing for her choices and who she is,” says my good, funky and beautiful friend, Abi Portillo during our usual conversation about … well, life.
If you do encounter my ridiculously beautiful friend, Abi, you will see her living out this advice in her day-to-day life.
She is a beautiful woman inside and out, but most importantly, she is a woman who just loves life. She’s not the kind of woman who would sit down and whine about what she doesn’t have in life but someone who gets out there and grabs what she wants. She has always been one of the most inspiring women I know and she is definitely worth emulating.
Her persona is refreshing.
In the day and age where women change who they are every single day to fit into a friendship, job or relationship, it is women like Abi who shows us to truly become who we are without being ashamed of it.
If there is anything I have learned in the past month, it is this: if you are not doing anything wrong and not intentionally hurting anyone, stop apologizing.
Stop apologizing for the things you like and don’t like. Stop apologizing for the choices you’ve made and instead celebrate who you are – quirks and all.
I have been some sort of shrinking violet lately and thought that being humble meant seeing myself as a small person. I was going through blog entries yesterday and cried over how small I allowed myself to feel. If it weren’t for an unfortunate incident I have experienced recently, I wouldn’t have realized how small I was allowing myself to be simply because I wanted people to like me.
Without realizing it, I was becoming the woman I disliked most: the woman who meekly sat in the corner just to keep others happy. While I won’t be starting any fights anytime soon, I have learned to understand that loving people doesn’t mean I shrink so they can become big.
It is about finding the perfect balance and most importantly, it is about loving people and respecting them without allowing them to treat you with anything else. I am not promoting negativity, I am actually promoting the opposite: be who you are and allow others to be who they are.
Being who you are includes standing for what you believe in and not saying yes all the time just because it makes others comfortable.
I have also learned that I cannot constantly put up walls around me. The walls are destructive. The walls force me to retreat to the past & use my past as an excuse to fire bullets when it comes to protecting myself.
I have ruined a few friendships out of the fear of the past repeating itself.
However, in as much as I have learned this, I have also learned that no matter how hard you try, some people just won’t love you or stick around even if you have shown them the best parts of you.
It doesn’t matter if you believe in the same things or feel strongly about specific causes, if the person doesn’t exert the same kind of effort into building a relationship (and not just the romantic kind but also the professional or platonic kind) with you then it just won’t work. You may have tried your hardest to extend a hand towards someone, but if the person won’t reach out for your hand—it’s best to walk away.
I used to cry (yup, a huge crier here!) whenever someone would just refuse to become my friend. I guess some things have not changed since I was pre-school, I would wallow myself in embarrassment (man, I put myself out there like that and the person didn’t respond?!) but the I remembered Abi’s advice and I realize that there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Most importantly, time shouldn’t even be spent rehashing over the negatives and once again, I should stop apologizing for who I am.
And while, I am still a work in progress and I still have a lot to work on, I have been blessed with people who love me despite seeing the messiest part of me and the least I can do is accept their love and stop pushing them away.
Friends like Abi & Dea (my ever favorite who always deserves a mention in my blog ;)) remind me of the power of loving ourselves completely. That when we stop beating ourselves up for not being perfect, we allow the real people to shine in our lives and that is where we find ourselves loved the way we should be.
Nobody is perfect, we’ve heard that before, but eventually God sends people who love us despite all the messiness & the imperfection and in this kind of crazy world we live in, that is all we could hope and aspire for.