Yes, I’m about to get naked.

Let me explain myself before you report me for inappropriate content or something.

Ever since I got my first pimple, I told myself: Don’t let anyone see the crazy side. You won’t make friends if you let them know who you really are. Just be like everyone else. Wear a lot of makeup or none depending on the latest celebrity movement (all natural means foundation, mascara, and lip color just so now boys), get the new kicks no matter what the price (Birks: $135), get the nose piercing (ouch!), and hit up every bougie coffee shop known to man ($5 latte: worth it). Do it and you’re cool.

Trying to be “cool” never went away. Ha! I still try. I even try to not be cool so that I’m more cool by not doing what’s “basic”. It’s funny how much I think about what everyone else is thinking of me. I let it change me into someone I didn’t want to be in high school, and then I got to college and didn’t know where the heck to start. I worked so hard to be normal that I lost my weird. And if you ask any of my family members they will all tell you the real Natalie is a whole lotta funky. TBH, at home I dance like a freak, laugh way too much, and sing my lungs out. I get shushed sometimes.

Tonight, literally to-night, it hit me that I was still trying to be accepted even when I thought I was being myself this year. Every person I met, I became what they expected me to be, in a spiritual drought one day, always on fire for God the next, up to date with the latest trends, starting a new one, at peace with everything, stressed out, conservative, liberal…whatever you want.

I thought I was better this year because at least I  was at a college chose myself. But, I actually came here for my now ex-boyfriend. I know… I did the one thing everyone tells you not to do when deciding on a school. And yet, I just wanted to make someone else happy.

Your head is probably spinning by now, “dang she must be tired”.

You’re right.

I started to declutter everything I piled on to hide my true self: I removed my makeup, my nose ring, my pants (I was in my room, don’t worry). I took a good long look in the mirror. And there she was, eight year old Natalie staring back at me. Her pigtails hung down, XXL Kim possible shirt, crocs to top it off, and a giant smiley front-toothless grin. At age eight, I didn’t know my worth was defined by society based off what I wore, how thin I was, what I did for fun, or if I pleased my boyfriend.

Twenty One Pilots puts it better than I do “my name’s Blurryface and I care what you think” from their hit “Stressed Out”. My identity became so confused with the people I surrounded myself with that I lost a uniqueness. Seriously, I even wrote blog posts to appeal to my readers! When I finally sat myself down and got honest, I realized every decision I had made up until this point was for the gratification of other people around me. What a scary place to be.

What was even scarier was being naked in my room and unable to recognize the person standing in front of me.

So, I had a choice. Do  I rewrite my whole story, start from scratch and just try a bunch of other new things to “find myself”? I guess that would be even more tiring, and I wasn’t ready to dye my hair black or something.

No, the answer wasn’t to redo myself but to stop asking “well, is that ok with you if I do that?” As soon as I started catching myself before I was about to make decision for someone else, I found myself doing exactly what I wanted. Guess what? I still like to write, I still have a nose ring because like it, and I did not throw out my Birks (mainly cause I’m running out of functioning shoes and because they are comfortable af). BUT, needless to say, I’m still gonna look the same, well a couple things might change (idk when I’m gonna come across a shirt with a cat riding a unicorn anytime soon so that may be new), but I decided from this day forward to be really myself.

I apologize for my conformity, we don’t need another cheap cut out piece of cardboard in this world.

I hope by being raw you too can strip off the label you’ve been hiding under and finally be naked and unafraid.

Don’t be boring, wear the crocs if you like them!

Sincerely, Brain Fuzz