How often do you not wear something, or not do something that makes you feel good because you are concerned with the opinions of others? When was the last time you made a decision for yourself concerned with the “two cents” of another being? When was the last time you, for any reason, you concerned yourself with the opinion of others? I am not sure what your answer might be, but I can assure you the day I stop caring about others people’s opinions, I became liberated. Let me explain.
opinion-noun| a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
So first and foremost we live in a super judgmental world co-starring whispers and side eye glances from on-lookers. I used to feel the need often to do, say, and even wear certain things to please others or relax the thoughts of my community. Living this way was detrimental to my soul. I would not only consider the thoughts of strangers, but I often times concerned myself with the thoughts of family and friends close to me. What would so-and-so think if I wore this? Oh God, people will whisper about this pimple on my face. And my personal favorite, these folks are not going to like what I might say. All of these thoughts eventually led to my social anxiety and awkwardness. I cannot exactly remember when the switch happened, or what led to my change in outlook, but one day I woke up and I no longer gave af about the opinions of others and began to live my life for me.
Break it down, B:
Now that I think about it, I stopped concerning myself with the opinions of others when I big chopped my way into my natural hair journey. My family ironically were my biggest critics. The same people I loved had interesting views on natural hair. I understood. Black people have been programmed not to love, but to change their natural selves for so long. We began to detest the very same characteristics that make us, us. No matter. I knew I was doing the right thing, and although I struggled with self-esteem throughout the process, I was catapulted into a deeper love for myself. I learned then, most people would not understand. No matter, I have to be a trailblazing, life-loving somebody regardless. I opted to stop caring about other peoples opinions–especially because I could not reverse my haircut. Two years later, my baby sister decided to go natural. Three years later my mother made the same decision.
First of all, I have found that people who have the time to talk about you are doing nothing with their lives. Think about it. People who are doing shit rarely have the time to talk shit about another human being. These people are also bitter and probably do not love themselves, so its easy to judge others to appease their own uncertainty. This category of people have opinions that do not matter at all. Secondly, you my dear have one life to live, and you deserve to live it according to what brings joy to your heart. You have your own definition of love and laughter that many may not subscribe to, and that is okay. DO you boo-boo. It is very much okay to be an outcast. After all, outcasts make for great leaders. Leadership requires you follow your own heart, and you will be surprised when you outlandish ways begin to set trends. Free yourself from the shackles of other peoples opinions, so you can soar.
With all that said, do what makes you happy. This life is your life–and well you deserve to live it the best way you see fit. Take risks if it pleases you. Switch up your hair every week if it pleases you. Love how you want to love. Just remember, your purpose and your values, and you my dear cannot go wrong.
Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast
Take the contradictions
of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm
-From “Be nobody’s Darling” a poem written by Alice Walker
Say: I love me regardless.
Salute: I was feeling both this week.
Be light. Work your talents. Together we can spark a light Pandemic.
Britney “Bird Nefertiti” Newton