Those of us who have been in the middle of uncomfortable situations or simply moments where we are engaging in a conversation with someone, and when we don’t know whether we should try to explain the way we are or just walk away, know what it feels to be misunderstood. This may happen more often to some than others, and I feel it happens to me most of the time. Many people misunderstand me when they first meet me, but once they get to know me, they understand me better. I feel I always have to explain for the ways I am and for the different traits I have. Being misunderstood can be so hard at times, but the moment I’m misunderstood I know that you are having a hard time putting me in your created boxes. Recently, I’m walking away more than explaining myself. Those who understand me can understand me, and those who don’t can continue to misunderstand me. I’m feeling more and more like I’m not really responsible for the ways you feel about me.
I know this is the case for most girls who do not fit the stereotype of a certain label, most girls who feel misunderstood because they don’t act a certain way, they don’t dress a certain way, they feel so free and act so free making others uncomfortable around them, girls who are misunderstood because they are unwilling to do conventional things, or adhere to people’s standards. Girls who are misunderstood because they stand up and speak up for themselves in a society where we are told girls can’t do that for themselves, but everyone else can be an advocate for us. Girls who are misunderstood because they are honest, and have nothing to hide since they don’t want to live in secrecy. Girls who are misunderstood because they don’t get uncomfortable about their journeys no matter how others feel about it. Girls who are misunderstood because they are loving and caring despite their unloving mothers, fathers, relatives etc. Girls who are misunderstood because they aren’t angry despite their struggles or their circumstances. Girls who are misunderstood because they believe and go after their dreams fearlessly. Girls who are misunderstood because they are immigrants like myself and have different cultures clashing within them.
I’m an immigrant who came to this country at a very tender age, so its really hard for me to be any particular way since I have many different cultures which influenced me growing up. For this reason alone, I feel myself not fitting in any particular culture. I see myself as a blend of cultures coming together and manifesting. I do most times find myself feeling misunderstood when interacting with different groups of people. Since I don’t fit in any particular way, or people aren’t able to put me in a particular space, I get misunderstood a lot. This used to affect me but I’ve learned to ignore it, and still act the way I do despite not being understood.
The more I’m growing up, the more I’m getting accustomed to embracing the many cultures I have within myself and being more than okay with being myself. The more I’m growing, I’m realizing that it’s okay for others to misunderstand me, and for them to continue to misunderstand me. It’s okay that I am an Immigrant, Black, African, Ethiopian girl who has so many identities fusing together, is finding her ways to navigate and be who is she meant to be. I’ve learned to embrace myself, my difference and my weirdness and if you are one of us who find yourself always questioning and feeling lost, you should also try to embrace and love the many ways that you are. It may not be that easy to just start embracing it all, but it can definitely be done. Just take it one day at a time.
This has shown me to hold onto the traits that make me who I am. I can’t be scared of it any longer or run away from it. After all, its there to be embraced and loved, and its there to be loved by me and it shouldn’t matter whether others love it or understand it. Those who are meant to understand it, will, and these are the type of people I need to surround myself with anyway. The true essence of me is there to protect me, and to help me figure out who I need to put close in my life, so its actually great that I am the way I am because it makes it easier to filter out all of the mess and find the right people I need in my life. I hope you hold onto all the unique traits that make you who you are and not scared of being misunderstood.
Peace and Love,