Last week the five year old asked me if I wanted to change before we left the house. After sweating through my dress, getting them home, fed, and washed I realized I was still wearing the sweatpants and t shirt I put on when we first landed at the house. Apparently my look didn't work for her. She suggested I put my dress back on and gave me some jewelry to sweeten the deal.
While I have no doubts the five year old got her fashion and forwardness from me, sixteen year old Diana would've been mortified that I had to hear those words at all.
I change for people. A lot.
Up until two years ago I didn't like sneakers. Up until a year and a half ago I didn't like shoes at all. Two years ago I stopped wearing a full face of makeup because I thought it would make someone enjoy my company more. Before last year I didn't like asparagus or Brüssel sprouts. This isn't a case of "people change". This has become a case of "people change me" and I'm finally realizing how sad that makes me.
I've spent a long time sacrificing little parts of me to appease people. To make them happy, to make them stay. Three people on this side of the country know I'm a force. Everyone else thinks I'm a laidback, happy-go-lucky people-pleaser.
When I was thirteen I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted. I was confident in my terrible fashion choices and awful taste in comedy. Then I spent one night at a bowling alley in Shoreline being chastised by a friend in the bathroom who berated me and told me I'd never know who I was. She spent the night asking blasphemous questions and belittled me when I challenged them. I'm sad to say after three hours I let her get to me and doubted myself for the next five years. At eighteen I had a handle on it again but during the tumultuous time of my early twenties I got lost along the way. That why I kept going back to London. I always knew who I was in London.
Now, at twenty six, in my tiny apartment on Main Street and in between classes and work, I'm figuring it out again.