I do not want to be liked.
I want to be myself.
by Nayyirah Waheed
I’m a people pleaser. I lose my own voice easily and quickly become the person who embodies: ‘Who am I you ask? Whoever you want me to be.’ After a lifetime of doing this, the sadness started catching up with me. And interestingly, I had to infer that I wasn’t doing well. Not by recognizing the sadness within my body (because the sadness felt like a normal part of me) but because I was so disengaged in my life that scrolling through Instagram felt safer than having an honest conversation with a friend. I was faced with the sadness the most when they asked me why I was a photographer and the only reason that came to mind was to gain approval from people. I was too ashamed to say this out loud. That I had no idea what I liked to do or who I wanted to be apart from what I thought people wanted from me. I wanted to be noticed so freakin’ badly that I lost myself in the search. Seeing how far it had gone broke me. I couldn’t hide from it all anymore and I fell apart.
The last two years have been an unraveling of hidden emotions, trauma, and learning who I actually am. It’s been shocking. And funny enough, the real me is a lot more pleasant and naturally attracts what I have been wanting the entire time: authentic love that sees me and still loves me.
I'm still in the middle of all of it. I'm not 'there' yet, but I am more real and I'm starting to like myself for the first time in my life. Through the journey, I'm learning I can’t make myself un-sad. I have to let myself grow into that whole, authentic self that’s deeply hidden in there who will come out when she’s ready to come out. Noticing the sadness without hiding from it or trying to change it has been the most helpful lesson. To believe I, Sadie, am designed to be healthy and whole and that’s where I am headed because the universe is for me being healthy and whole.