By Doyinsola Aluko
As a “decent” human being (“proper” lady to be precise) , I’m expected to know how to not develop any feeling of anger, rearrange my facial expressions when I’m upset (especially when they look like I just smelled rotten eggs) and substitute my disappointed looks for satisfied ones whenever and however possible. This put a lot of strain in my relationships with people and caused me to be extremely cautious of who I let down my guard with.
“Doyin never gets angry”
“Doyin is always smiling and happy”
“Don’t worry, just let Doyin know and she will understand”
While all these were true to some extent, they were also a little false. Doyin hardly gets visibly and easily angry, but she does get angry. Doyin doesn’t always smile and isn’t always happy but she definitely doesn’t let a frown or sadness take over her entire day. Yes, Doyin is very understanding but no, not all the time. Sometimes I don’t understand. I don’t understand how people can be so self-serving and manipulative. I don’t understand how people only focus on one bad deed and overlook the thousands of commendable ones that came before it. I don’t understand how imperfect people judge other imperfect people. I don’t understand everything because at the end of the day I’m human, just like everyone else.
This perception of me prevented me from being myself. I was scared of the classic “wow, you’ve changed” line. Unfortunately and fortunately enough for me, my struggles in life began to overpower this fear of mine and in no time I couldn’t find the strength to please everyone anymore. I tried but I just couldn’t. Life had become so real. So much so that I decided to begin the “wow, you’ve changed” movement myself. I realized that people who truly want to be in your life will stay as long as you’re true to yourself and your intentions are pure. Being a people-pleaser attracts the wrong crowd. It makes the foundation of your relationships weak and your signal for the network of opportunists strong. I decided to embrace my flaws, my shortcomings, my downfalls , my new phase. I had to identify my problems and contain them before they started affecting others. That was the only way I could become a better person.
Being able to freely display my feelings without restrictions showed I was finally learning to love myself. I was finally learning to own up to the fact that I’m not perfect. I was finally learning to give people that mattered a chance to see what the real Doyin is like. It was refreshing to know that every single act I performed was effortless and light because they weren’t forced; they were as natural as breathing to me. I came to terms with the fact that I am a little caterpillar hoping to become a beautiful butterfly one day and if embracing the messy metamorphosis process is going to help me get there, then I would be more than happy to embrace my journey to a new and wholesome beginning.