When I was a little middle school girl, I always felt the need to get all the love and approval from everyone around me. That means I always had to show my happiest face, go with the flow and agree with anything others said.

Of course, I got what I wanted, but why didn’t I feel happy? A girl would make fun of my look, and I would just laugh it off and let it go. A boy made an inappropriate joke about my parents. I laughed it off again. But then I went home and cried alone when nobody could see me. I was never ever truly happy.

Later on, I learned a lesson along the way— I will never be happy if I try to please everyone.

Since then, I decided to be myself. I started to speak up my mind and show people how I really feel.

Things turned out to be much better than I thought it should. I gained my best friends who love me for who I am.

Of course, there are still people who disapprove what I do. I am called “intimidating” because of the way I look and act. I am asked to change because being too honest and straightforward upsets people. I am asked to change because my face doesn’t look approachable all the time. I am asked to change because of this and that. The most ironic part is that some people asked me to change because what I did didn’t make them happy, not because it didn’t make me happy. So after all, it’s all about their happiness? How about me? How about my feelings?
Enough.

Sorry, but I am not going to change a single thing about myself, including how I look and act. It is not my problem if someone feels some type of way toward me. It is not my problem if people don’t want to talk to me just because of my “intimidating” look. It is not my problem if anyone wants me to change to make them happier.

And if I do want to change anything for anyone, the one I’m changing for is myself.

Learning to accept who you are and people around you is important. So is loving yourself. You have to love yourself first before expecting others to love you. Plus, ask yourself if making them happy makes you happy. It doesn’t work for me, so I decided to do whatever I want and to be who I want to be. At the end of the day, no matter how much you do, there is still someone who says you are not enough.

Don’t ever ask me to change who I am so I can please more people and make them happy. Don’t ever tell me to stop being myself for someone who can’t handle all of me.

Because that’s what makes me, me.

<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/hilly-nguyen/" rel="tag">Hilly Nguyen</a>