Represent your own idea of you. Don’t be afraid of being you. I hate the term “First Impressions.” Nine times out of ten first impressions are completely false and completely judgmental. I know I’ve done it before myself, not proudly. I’ve been told from someone that they thought I was mean. I’ve been told I looked stuck up because of my blonde hair, or because I was a cheerleader. Every time I receive that I get “but I like you now.” “I know that’s not how you are.” People are going to make assumptions. I had the chance to go to Girls State this summer at the University of Alabama. I was so in shock when my roommates and the girls that were in my city told me their first impressions of what they thought of me. They were all positive. I don’t know if it was because I was somewhere where no one knew me, but I felt like I had the opportunity to truly be me. It felt good. It felt good to be recognized for something positive instead of something negative. What I’m trying to say is that I know it’s hard to try to reinvent yourself or be who you are when everyone around you has already made their mind up on who you are. I’ve also learned that all I can do is try and be a better version of me each day. I drew so many insecurities for so long from words that people had said to me and spoken over me. It took forever to break them off and still sometimes, a lot of the time, they try to creep back into my mind. Those five words “Represent your own idea and you” were like 💣 to me. I know what my heart is and who I am. I know I’m not perfect. I know I’ll sometimes say things I shouldn’t or react without thinking. I know I’ll make mistakes and mess up. I also know that I’m imperfect. We’re all trying, trying our best. I’m determined to make a better me. I make that a point in my prayer time to be better tomorrow than I was today. I always feel like I could have said more or less. I could have done more or done something different. Life is a learning process. People’s impressions of us shouldn’t mean anything, because most of the time we don’t even know who we are yet. I’m on the path of figuring out everything about me. What I can do is portray that in my everyday life. That’s an eye opener to me. To try harder. To do it. So that’s my challenge for myself and others. Represent the you that you see yourself as. People may not respond, but they can see it. You’re not trying to impress anyone anyways so what do you have to lose. Block out people’s opinions. Focus on how you view yourself. Get yourself aligned right inside and out. Feeling good about yourself- feels good. Know your identity. Be yourself, be genuine, and it will show through. Our human flesh still breaks through ever now and then, or for me, more times than it should. But my mindset now is at the end of the day do I please myself with how I represented “me” today? I say all this to mainly empower myself, because it’s something I struggle with everyday. I feel like I didn’t do the job. Today I break that off. I’m going to be the best version of me for me. No excuses.