“To thine own self be true.”
As some of you may or may not know, a few months ago I worked for one of my idols father. For the handful of you who may not know, Beyoncé is that idol and I worked for her father, Mathew Knowles. It was an experience I will always be grateful for as it has taught me how to deal with people in the industry and develop tougher skin.
That’s all I have to say about that. While working there, I was going through one of my stages of figuring out my life and who I am as a woman. I’m still trying to figure this out and haven’t fully discovered the answer to those questions. However, there’s one incident in particular that occurred during my time there that I look at as a turning point in my perception of who I am. One of my co-workers, Calvin, and I were joking around about who was the Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle of our imaginary group. One of Mathews associates was hanging out in my office and she decided to chime in. “Well Calvin, I can see you in a group, but Asia I just can’t see it for you.” Now this woman wasn’t always pleasant to me and we often went back and forth about nothing. She thought I was weird, and honestly, I am. I’m learning to embrace that instead of trying to suppress it, but I can’t lie. Her statement did make me feel a certain way. She went on and on about how she doesn’t see a “celebrity” factor in me. I don’t dress like celebrities, I’m not glamorous, I barely wear makeup, if any, and I don’t live a life similar to theirs, and that could’ve been the reason. I’m not sure why it bothered me so much, but it did. What was she trying to say? As I’ve said in one of my previous posts, acting is and probably always will be one of my dreams so for this woman to sit here in my face and tell me that she didn’t see it for me, it bothered me. Obviously, I had no dreams of actually being in a singing group, but I didn’t like the fact that someone was telling me what I couldn’t do. I questioned my appearance and my personality. It made me feel like maybe something was wrong with me and somehow this could potentially hinder my chances of becoming the actress I want to be. It’s easy for people to always say that they don’t care about what people say, but at some point in our lives, we do care. Her statement motivated me try to dress flashier, be bolder and tougher. (Everyone at the job thought I was too nice for the business so they often pushed me. Another story for another day.) I felt like I was changing and one day I looked up and asked myself, “who am I?” If I let everyone’s opinions dictate my actions, than I’m nobody. I’ll always be a reflection of what other people want me to be instead of who I truly am. At that moment, I decided “F@$! it!” I am who I am and people will hate it, like it, or love it. If we allow people to tell us who we are, then this only means that WE don’t know who we are. People who fully understand who they are don’t get shook by what others say to them because they know in their heart what the truth is. Once again, I don’t fully know my purpose or who I am completely, but that’s not for anyone else to point out. People will always have their opinions, but we can’t let them determine what’s real. Only we know that and it’s our job alone to decide. We should ask ourselves this question. Is it worth it to lose who I am to be who someone else thinks I should be? Another lesson I took away from this incident is that no one can tell us what we can or can’t do. When I feel pessimistic about my journey I think about the Bible quote, “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.” I can do ALL THINGS. Anything I put my mind and heart into can be done. Maybe this quote doesn’t resonate with everyone, but this is my motivation. Find what motivates you and use that to keep going. Gabourey Sidibe (aka: Precious) was once told by a prominent actress, Joan Cusack, that she was too fat to be an actress and she should quit because this business is “image-conscious”. Does anyone know where Joan Cusack is today? What show does she play on? I have no clue, but Gabourey Sidibe does have a reoccurring role on the hit show, Empire. I also think about Zoe Kravitz, who I admire for her unapologetic confidence and attitude. If she wants to wear dingy jeans and a faded white t-shirt, that’s what she wears. Maybe she wants to wear her hair in dreadlocks with one side shaved off or most recently cut it all off, she does it. Also SZA, who I just discovered is pretty much the sh*t. If she doesn’t feel like combing her hair, then she won’t. She doesn’t have rock-hard abs, but if she feels like wearing a crop top and 2X jeans that are falling off of her waist, that’s what she does. They are who they are and people can either hate it or love it. I’m not at all saying that we need to be like these people or anyone for that matter, but I do believe that’s the way we all should feel about ourselves. One thing I don’t like is labels or boxes of personalities that people try to place us in. We are all multifaceted beings. We can’t allow people to put us in a box and define us based on what we appear to be on that particular day. Those same people pointing the finger and trying to tell YOU who YOU are or who you aren’t, may not have the slightest clue about who they actually are so how can their opinions mean anything at all? After all, it is what it is. Just an opinion.