The 3 AM Cult

The things we do to “belong”. From time immemorial or the deep fat psychology textbooks. People often present themselves in a particular way to belong to a specific social group. This social…


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Reinvent yourself

When I was in the beginning of my senior year of high school, one of my favorite teachers called me “whiney”. Now, it wasn’t out of context. A few friends, her and I were sitting around talking about personalities. When I asked what they thought of when they thought of me, they said words like little, kind, smart, quiet, but most importantly,


I was shocked. As a child, I was a complete ham. I was outgoing, I spoke out for what I believed in. There’s a home video of me when I was seven: I had choreographed a whole dance for my cousins and myself. I was obviously the star (typical me), and my cousins were my backup dancers. i was so meticulous with the movements; I knew exactly how the dance needed to be done, and I made sure it got done that way.

In fifth grade, we were going on a diversity field trip, and one kid said he wasn’t going because he didn’t want to be with the black kids. As a fifth grader, I told him he was a baby, and stupid for not going. I did not apologize, because I knew that racism was wrong.

In seventh grade, I was sitting in science class with my lab partner, who happened to be a friend of mine. The boys behind us were snickering and it was rather annoying, so I turned around and asked what they were laughing at. They said they were laughing at my friend because of her weight. I stood up, yelled at them, and made those boys apologize to my friend.

Where did that strong little girl go? When had I stopped standing up for things I believed in? When had I turned into a quiet, whiney little thing?

So I made it a point to change. I was going to reinvent myself. It was not a quick process. I made a long list of things I could do to make people take me seriously, respect me, and think of me as a strong independent woman.

Throughout my senior year, I made these changes:

People started to notice. My friend Tim, who would once walk all over me, was taken aback when I told him I would not drive him across town because it was out of my way. My friends were surprised when I asked for gas money. My parents were surprised when I told them I wanted to go to college two hours away instead of the state school that was around the corner.

I started to like myself so much more. I think people were enjoying being around me more, and more importantly, I enjoyed being around me. I was having so much fun making myself into this knew person!

Years have gone by now, and I still strive to improve myself. I still stand up for things I believe in, I don’t let people walk all over me, and I make it a point to be a good role model in my community.

I never asked my teacher at the end of the year if she noticed a difference. But if I had to describe myself now, I would use these words:

Little, kind, intelligent, well-spoken, mature, independent, and strong as hell.

The purpose of this post was not at all to brag about how far I’ve come; I wanted to start out with my example so that I can show all of you that change is very possible. I am in no way an expert, but I think I have a few tricks up my sleeve to becoming a new you. That is, if you so incline to be. I may also have a few tips about self care, dealing with anxiety and depression, and even some boy tips. So tune in. :)

Little, quiet, and whiney.
Little, well-spoken, independent, strong.

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