By: Tyece Wilkins, Guest Contributor
“Wait, you wouldn’t describe me as chill?” I asked my friend.
“You? No! I would describe you as excitable and emotional,” he replied.
I felt a shift in the cosmos of my self-image when my friend described me as “excitable.” The next day, I even looked the word up to see if this definition really matched my personality traits.
Excitable (adj.) capable of being readily roused into action or a state of excitement or irritability
Ok, this was an overstatement. Maybe I would give my friend a dictionary for his next birthday. Just a thought.
But, this was one of the first conversations I had where the many attempts I made over the years to be nonchalant and disenchanted proved ineffective. It was clear that the people close to me knew that my core was anything but “chill.” And, I knew it, too. Perhaps I was just in denial.
Somewhere around my senior year of college, I started to notice that guys were more attracted to the girls who were relaxed. They didn’t want women who nagged or cared too much, or at least that’s what I thought. I observed this and worked hard to mold my personality into this box. This wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision. I didn’t wake up one day, look at myself in our smudge-stained mirror and decide “I am going to be chill!” That would be a bit strange and by a bit strange, I mean very strange.
Instead, I just found myself trying not to care and suppressing feelings when I had them. I didn’t want to get too attached to guys. I didn’t want to cry or let anyone see me when I did. I didn’t want to seem affected by much of anything. These attempts followed me into my post-grad life. Admittedly, once I graduated, life hurled many more boulders my way and I truly did care less about trivial matters. I didn’t feel a need to nag people or interject my opinion in every situation. But, that didn’t mean that I didn’t have feelings or thoughts. It didn’t mean that I did not feel attached to people. Just because I cared less about some things didn’t mean that I didn’t care at all.
Now, almost three years after graduation, I have learned to care less (ironic?) about what I think men like or want. Let’s be serious; no one really knows what men like or want. Men don’t even know what they like or want half the time. There is no point trying to adjust my personality to meet some intangible idea of what I think will attract someone to me. True confidence is the audacity to just be yourself. And sometimes that is the toughest thing for us to learn in this life. I have learned to admit to myself that I am emotional. I am sometimes intense. I have many opinions and feelings. I cry and hurt like any other human being. I am affected by things and words and relationships. I have a sharp tongue. I am a perfectionist. I am many things, but I am not chill. And that is OK.
Tyece Wilkins is a 24-year-old writer and blogger based in the DC Metro area. She tweets all of her many musings at @tyunscripted and she writes, rants, and roars about the growing pains of her twenties on her blog, “Twenties Unscripted.”
Featured image via stepthroughmylife.blogspot.com