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I’ve always tried to fit in with the crowd; I never wanted to come off as “lame”, “stuck-up”, “rude”, or “bratty”. That’s so funny to me because I’ve been given all of those labels at some point in my life. I’ve been called “stuck up” the most. I used to think to myself “I’m the most coolest, nicest, hilariously not funny person ever, how could I possibly come off as stuck up?” I used to let people’s words get to me. I used to give into peer pressure so those same people would use nice words to describe me instead of mean words.

Nia & I had the same Language Arts teacher for our 7th and 8th grade school years. When Nia was in 7th grade, I was a sophomore in college. Nia told me about a conversation she had with our teacher. Nia said “I told Mrs. *** I was your sister and her face lit up, she told me you always found a way to do what you wanted in school”. I laughed and said “wow, for her to say that, I must’ve really been a lot to deal with”.

Nia told me about another time when she walked into a store and saw someone she knew, but decided not to speak to. The person remarked “wow, you’re snobby just like your sister”. Nia vented her frustrations with me about the person’s reaction to her not speaking. Nia said “I mean damn, I ain’t gotta speak to you if I don’t want to”. As her big sister, I was conflicted in that moment. As much as I wanted to tell her it doesn’t hurt anyone to nod and wave, I wanted her to know how proud of her I was for being JUST.LIKE.ME. So I did both. Lol.

Honestly, I’m glad I was in 2 car accidents in high school. In addition to me having cool stories to tell people when they ask about my scars, I learned a lot about myself during those times. My 2nd car accident taught me sooo much; but mainly that I don’t need to be surrounded by negative vibes. My 2nd car accident really made me be still. For 8 weeks, I couldn’t walk, stand up, drive, shop, exercise, or even take a shower. I had a lottt of time to be alone with my thoughts. I went to college with the mindset to stay to myself and focus on my work. And I did that, mostly.

I think my greatest strength is knowing my weaknesses. I struggle with dealing with other humans. I struggle with processing with my emotions in a healthy way. I struggle with patience. I struggle with healthy communication. I struggle waiting for my turn. I struggle with complacency. I struggle with the thought of failing. Because I’m aware of my attitude and how quickly I get annoyed with people, I like being alone. I like being alone for other reasons too (see ISOLATE), but the main reason I like being alone is because I want to be in complete control of my mood and environment.

That may seem dramatic to some people, but it works for me. Being in a profession where helping people is the main goal has helped me understand my personal triggers and body signals when my emotions are getting the best of me. When I’m at work, I’m at work; I’ll help any and everybody with whatever is needed if I can. But when I’m at home, don’t call me, beep me, page me, nothing; it’s not okay. (if you got that reference, welcome to the cool club).

I got a roommate 3 months into my first semester in college. We grew close, and after a few weeks she told me “I used to think you were stuck up because of the way you walk". That bothered me because I was always told that when I was younger. I used to try to change my walk so i would work normally; it didn't work. Another girl told me I was a bitch because of my dark humor and my insensitivity to sensitive topics. That bothered me because I was always told I was too sensitive. Instead of letting their words get to me, I just shrugged my shoulders.

When I later processed those conversations with myself, I was so proud of myself for no longer being affected by the words of people who play such small roles in my life. I would be miserable if I still tried to change who I was at my core just for other humans to be satisfied. From my experience, when I was focused on being accepted by others, I always felt stuck in a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" mindset. Now that I'm living freely and only seek approval from myself, I don't care how anyone views me or feels about me. It's such a great feeling to be care-free. It's such a great feeling to be SiSi.

So, when these two beauties allowed me to capture them instead of running off with their family members, they reminded to me to continue to cruise through life at my own speed. Apparently, I’ve always done things “my way”. I don’t need the approval of others, I don’t need to wait on others, I don’t need to listen to people who don’t have good intentions behind their words, and I don’t need anyone in my circle (or life) that doesn’t need me in theirs.

Life Lesson:

· Cruise through life at your own speed. Take breaks. Stand still. Rest.

How I Apply it to My Life:

· I do what I want, when I want.


· Frank Ocean – White (Ft. John Mayer)

SLIDESHOW: Me being still.


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