Interviewer: ’Who do you aspire to be like?’
Me: ’I aspire to be the best possible version of myself.’
Interviewer: ’No, but if you had to pick a celebrity or someone you could be like who would it be?’
Me: I just told you and that’s the answer I’m sticking to, if you don’t like it that’s your problem.
This is the conversation I had at a job interview, and as you’ve probably guessed by now, no I didn’t get the job. The interviewer said that I was ‘over confident’ – yeah, whatever! More like I know who I am and that scares the heck out of you…especially if I am going to be your potential employee. It’s okay, I’ve never liked the idea of being “the employee”anyway because quite frankly ‘I DON’T LIKE BEING TOLD WHAT TO DO’. I know I shouldn’t have let this bother me, but it did. Why can’t I just be content with wanting to be myself, why do I need to aspire to be somebody else? There’s 6 billion people on this planet and only 1 me, so what would be the point in becoming a carbon copy? I have come to the conclusion that I like being myself, and if that scares you then…oh well! I sometimes feel like I am in a world surrounded by Skool girls who are yearning for an identity but too busy trying to imitate Beyoncé’. It’s also pretty ironic that I am writing this considering that this month Skool Girl Online is focusing on ‘Women In The Media’, but in saying this it’s so easy to get caught up in the lives of others…when does the focus ever become about you and me? There must be a reason why God made me Talisha, therefore it is my duty to do her life justice and give her the adventurous journey she, I mean I deserve.
I remember being a little girl and hating who I was, I used to think that I was cursed for looking the way I did because of all the mean things people used to say to me. If it wasn’t my elder cousins, it was the secondary school children. I got to the stage of not even caring about the extremes I thought I needed to go through in order to change, all I knew is that I didn’t want to be me…so yes admittedly, bleaching my skin was a thought. A moment that I remember significantly was when I was walking home from school, of course I was minding my own business (as I do), and then out of nowhere a horrid boy shouts out the school bus ‘TALISHA YOU ARE UGLY’. Those 7 simple syllables felt like 7 hours of a brutal slap in the face. At that moment, I just wanted to crawl into the darkest, deepest pit and be swallowed whole. Scratch that, I wanted to die. Whoever said ‘sticks and stones will break my bones, but your words will never hurt me’…LIED. Horrible words hurt and at that moment in time, I would have rather have had a brick lobbed at my head. I would never, ever want anybody to experience that humiliating feeling, believe me, It. Was. Not. Cool.
To look at how far I have come today can only be a miracle, I didn’t think it was possible to look at myself and believe that I am beautiful just like Dad and Mom have always said. Mom always told me ‘People are only nasty because they’re jealous and insecure.’ I always thought ‘You have to say that, you’re my Mom.’ But the truth is, she was right all along. There really isn’t anything wrong with me, as the quote says ‘it’s society that’s ugly’.
I have no problem with acknowledging influential figures in the limelight, but there is more to life. One day I realised that it’s okay not to look like “the girl in the magazine”, truth is I haven’t threaded my eyebrows in 2 months, my nails are often unpolished, not manicured and when painted, a plethora of wild colours perfectly suitable for a 10 year old, my make-up takes less than 10 minutes in the morning and I am yet to discover what half these blooming beauty terms even mean…contouring? When I say yet to discover, it means I probably never will…and honestly right about now, I don’t actually care. What I have come to care about is me, me and MORE me! I am only stuck with me until the day I die, so I may as well like myself. When I decided to like me, I realised that there were more people that liked me too, and as for the ones that didn’t, I decided that they just weren’t that important to consume valuable brain space anymore.
The day I stopped focusing on what I wasn’t, I learned to embrace who I am and in May 2014 I am proud to finally say I am content with that.
PS: Do you think that ignorant ”waste of space” of a interviewer will stumble across this one day?