Those who know me in real life know that more often than not, I have trouble getting along with people. Not because I’m spiteful or a bitch (but that might be your opinion of me), but because I have very strongly held opinions and morals (or lack there of). Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely liberal. But some people’s ideas of what is right and what is wrong irks me to no end. This post is about why you should never back down. You should never give in to someone else’s demands. Sticking up for what you believe in still matters.
At school, I never “fit in”. I was always the weird kid. An easy target for bullies. I had an obsession with being loved and being popular when I was in primary school. I would dream of being adored. I was overly nice to everyone in my class: I would invite them to my house, do everything they asked and would go out of my way to help them in the hopes that I would too be admired as they were. I even tried to like the same music and tv shows as them.
I was walked all over in school and bullied endlessly in my neighbourhood. I was called a “wannabe”, a “freak”, fat, “teacher’s pet”. The list was endless. By age 12, I grew tired of trying to please the popular people. Trying to please everyone in fact. And so began my six-year long journey through secondary school.
Those six years were definitely the worst of my life. As I got older, I began to delve into controversial interests. I didn’t go to teenage social events. I didn’t express any interest in popular music or films. I didn’t get obsessed with brands like the other girls in my year. And so, I was deemed an outcast. I learned to accept the way I was through the hardships. I lost my best friend because I “had changed”. I was called out on numerous occasions for what I posted on my Tumblr account. Some girls I went to school with didn’t even believe I was going out with this guy because I was so weird. It was extremely adverse and I thought I wouldn’t last.
And even though I spent a lot of time arguing with the counseller in the school and she told me to apologise to people who I had never done anything to; I never backed down. I wasn’t going to give into some institution who were forcing me to admit to actions I did not commit like some Stalinist Show Trial.
And I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve felt like an outsider my whole life. A lot of girls and boys fall into the mainstream trend just for fear of being left out. I’m not trying to be “hipster”. There’s nothing wrong with being part of mainstream culture if you genuinely enjoy it. But just liking a certain style because it’s popular is ridiculous. Agreeing on a certain opinion just because the majority says it’s right is stupidity. Taking everything you hear as the gospel truth is a sin.
I urge you all to stick up for what you believe in. If you’re not happy with something, don’t follow the crowd in fear you’ll be left behind. Don’t be afraid of the truth. Let yourself become the truth. I regret trying so hard to fit in with the popular kids. It’s a ridiculous social construct that took me years to realise.
To this day, my mother believes that I will actually go out to popular nightclubs and wear clothes that are in fashion. In fact, she even said that I should “make it my business” to do these things.
I stick up for what I believe in. Even if it means arguing with my peers, acquaintances and family, I would never pretend to be something I’m not. You must learn to love what you believe in, and never give in to anyone else.