Black [Sheep] & Proud by #TristaDaniell

My entire life has been OBSESSED with “fitting in”. I was that #awkwardblackgirl in school. I was NOT popular. I was NOT invited to parties. I had very FEW friends. While I was semi-popular in the church youth group, it was a small church and I knew how to “play the game” to get the “approval of men”. Plus, church popularity doesn’t exactly get you a place in the “cool kids club” as a teen. I was perpetually lonely.

In my mind, if I could “fit in” my life would be perfect. So, I did what most folk do, I tried to emulate the people I wanted to accept me. I put on masks to to “be like” someone else in hopes of gaining their approval and access to their world. I altered my personality, my appearance, and traded my authenticity to gain validation from folk who I deemed “better than” I AM. It was an exhausting life that left me trying to find myself and reclaim the “me” I AM created [to be].

I confess I’m not 100% there yet. I still have moments where I find myself coveting the success, friendships, material items, confidence, style, opportunities of others. Except, now I am able to identify the source of those feelings – insecurity and/or jealousy. Admitting I had [sometimes still have] these toxic traits allows me to identify what I lack within that makes me compare myself to other and project my insecurities upon them.

This wasn’t something I wanted to acknowledge, but I’ve learned great freedom comes with confession; and I can’t fix something I refuse to acknowledge.

I have gained so much confidence and love for myself since I decided to stop chasing the “cool kids”. I decided to take a page from the little girl I was before the world got a hold of me – bold, outspoken, and courageous af!

I didn’t care about fitting in.

I was ALL ABOUT standing out.

I enjoyed remixing the beat of the drum and dancing to the music only I could hear.

I KNEW I was fearfully and wonderfully made and was fully accepted by my Creator.

And I reveled in it.

That is, until something came along and pointed out I wasn’t like all the other sheep and encouraged me to dye my wool to fit in. I got tired of needing touch ups.

All that “trying to be” caused me to forget who[se] I AM, and I AM done with that. I decided to shave away the facade and allow myself the privilege of existing as the UNIQUELY AUTHENTIC FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE individual I AM. If you aren’t already, I invite [encourage] you to do the same.

Selah.

-Trista Daniell

2 thoughts on “Black [Sheep] & Proud by #TristaDaniell

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