[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 7/5/2016 | Layers]
“We live beneath many layers. Some are for our protection, and some are for our control.” ~ Russell Eric Dobda
I am the type of person who wears my emotions on my sleeve. I love video games, and reading books, and live my life almost entirely on the internet. I am a warrior for equality, and an opinionated millennial. My life is, for lack of a better cliche, an open book. My heart is always open to all who will accept it… But I wasn’t always like this. Growing up, I went through a lot of things that severely impacted my ability to open up to people, and to trust them. I’ve been betrayed, I’ve been lied to, and I’ve been used, all because I let people in, and showed them who I was, with unwitting naivety. I thought that everyone was like that. I thought that everyone was only out to benefit themselves, no matter what it took.Later into my high school years, I closed myself off. I had let too many people in, showed them who I really was, and had gotten hurt, time and time again. I became so vulnerable. I had lost so many friends, once I peeled back the layers of my personality, and they were able to see me for who I really was, or rather, who they convinced me that I was.
No one. Nothing. A loser.
So, I built up my walls, and stopped letting people in. I hid my real self beneath layers of lies, and disingenuousness. I lied about how I spent my free time, I put myself in uncomfortable situations, and I befriended people who were not healthy for me, all just to be accepted. To be liked. Because, in high school, I thought that was all there was to life, being liked. I tried to be the person that people wanted to be, instead of who I really was. And it hurt. Not being able to be who you really are, for any reason, kills you from the inside out. Not being able to relate to anything that anyone around you says, and not being able to express your own joy and excitement of things that make you happy… it was so lonely.
Thankfully, high school ended. Things changed. I grew up. I moved on.
“I’m like an onion. You can peel away my layers, but the further you go, the more it’ll make you cry.” ~ Laura Carstairs-Waters
At 26 years old, I am finally comfortable being me, for the most part. I have been through so much in the last 8 years since I graduated, unhealthy relationships, abusive friends, manipulative bosses, just to name a few… but, in a way, it helped me. I’ve come to realize that if people can’t accept me for who I am, at my very core, beneath all the layers, and all the stories, and all the history, no matter how bad, then they aren’t meant to be in my life. There are over 7 billion people on this earth, and whether they live on my street, or across the ocean, there are people out there who share the same layers as me. People who wear their layers with pride. These are my people.
I am proud of me, and all of my many, many layers. The stories, the history. My layers make me who I am, and I am pretty damn awesome.
Thanks for reading, friends.