I couldn't have been older than six when I realized society frowned upon the idea of me being myself. I was "too bossy," I was too "strange." And I was a bizarre child; an oddball at heart who wanted nothing more than to discuss the unseen world. I started to notice a pattern. Society had a way of spitting me out whenever I voiced what was happening in my head. So it didn't take me long to disconnect from my voice entirely.
It did, however, take me a very long time to find my voice again, and it's still a work in progress. I relocated it when I was 21, coming to the realization that my curiosity with all that is strange and bizarre mirrors my own inner self. And I started embracing this side of me rather than hiding it. I began to find the more that I understood about myself, the more authentic I became, the more authentic people befriended me.
In 2016 I started making videos as a challenge to myself. I have been socially awkward since forever. And I had a very hard time getting my point across. I would have a great idea in my head but it wouldn't come out as great when I spoke it (sometimes it still doesn't). In releasing these videos, I would read the most hateful comments. In the course of two years I have been called every terrible thing you can think of. I have been degraded on such a profound level by people who don't know me at all. Those people have given me the biggest gift. They have helped me to toughen up my skin and continue to move forward without fear of ridicule.
At the same time, I have been lifted up and loved by people who believe in me and hear my message. I have gained incredible connections with others due to the fact that I put myself out there; soul connections I would have missed otherwise.
I like to go on camera with raw emotion. I like being uncomfortable because it's a place I grow the most from. I'll admit, when I make a video and publish it, I am extremely uncomfortable for the first five minutes it's out. I like to admit mistakes I've made, I like to tell stories about my past that most people keep secret. I have found that being vulnerable helps me to feel empowered. I let people feel the weight of who I am without regret.
It is a very big challenge for people to be vulnerable. Most people won't even look you in the eye for more than a second because they feel vulnerable. God forbid we show people our souls.
But vulnerability, I have found, is actually very freeing. Once you face the uncomfortable aspects, you begin to grow and come into your authentic self. I have become connected to my voice again. I have built connections with people on a SOUL level, and I have built self confidence I would have never found had I not taken the chance and put myself in the public eye.
I strongly encourage people to put themselves out there and to start speaking their truth. We all have something beautiful to share and if you become too afraid to share your beautiful light, you not only cut yourself short, you also cut the world short. Do not let the fear of being ridiculed steal the beautiful gift you were meant to give to the world.
Harold and Maude