I wear a lot of bracelets, Minions. Like, tons. On any given day, I have at least thirteen on my right wrist–some days I wear over thirty. It depends on my mood. I like the way they feel on my wrist(s). I like the sound they make when they move. I don’t really feel like myself entirely when I’m not wearing them. And while I could totally go without wearing them (I mean, they’re just bracelets, after all), I prefer to. I just dig them, y’know?
Most of my bracelets are just funky looking. I really dig little rubber ones, or leather ones with spikes or pyramid studs. But some of them have my fave bands on them and several have fun sayings on them that spoke to me (anything from “Zombies want me for my BRAINS!” to “Mean people suck!” – both of which are totally true, by the way). But there’s one bracelet in particular that I bought several years ago, and used to wear a lot, until a point came where I didn’t, and lately, I’ve been wearing it again, for a good reason. The bracelet reads simply “Who do you think you are?”
I started wearing it as a reminder that that’s the one thing I really needed to figure out. See, I certainly didn’t know who I thought I was when I was a child. And I certainly didn’t know who I thought I was when I was a teenager. And my 20s? Forget about it! I had no idea who I thought I was…mostly because I was too focused on who everyone else thought I was.
“Who do you think you are?” It’s a question I’ve been pondering for some time now. When I stopped wearing the bracelet several years ago, I thought (quite positively, actually), that I had my answer. I knew who I was as a person, as an author, as a spouse, as a mother…as the supreme ruler of the Minion Horde, even. I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted out of life. I knew what was up, what was down, and I was eyeing my mirror image with a good measure of self-confidence.
But about a year ago (longer than that, if I’m being totally honest with myself…and with you), I started wearing that bracelet again. Why? Because I started to see myself through the eyes of others…and not all of them thought that I was awesome. I let other people’s opinions speak to my mirror image. I let their words come out of my mouth, and what’s really messed up is that I was starting to believe that maybe I wasn’t awesome just the way I am. Self-esteem is an incredibly fragile thing. Especially to someone that didn’t grow up having very high self-esteem in the first place. So it’s important to guard your self-esteem, to preserve it once you’ve built it up, and to not let anyone tell you how to feel about yourself.
But first you have to figure out who you think you are.
I’ll never be Mother Theresa. I’ll never be Stephen King. I’ll never be Ghandi or Billie Joe Armstrong or anybody like that. Because I can’t. I’m not them. I’m me. Heather Brewer (“Auntie Heather” to my Minions). And I can only be me. I can’t be anyone else. I am who I am. I am how I am. I write how I write. I enjoy really stupid/awesome activities with my family. I sing badly in the shower. I obsess over my kittehs. I constantly fat-finger “the” to look like “teh”. I have to remind myself that the way to spell “tomorrow” is to spell it “Tom. Or. Row.” EVERY SINGLE TIME I write it. I hate cooking. I love moonlight. I always want a cookie. I’m a total worry-wart. I speak my mind. I love laughing. I hate waiting. And I don’t think that any of that will ever change.
But my approval of myself did for a little while. Because self-esteem is a very fragile thing. A very brave, very awesome Minion named Jordan reminded me of that recently, when she blogged about her self-esteem journey. What Jordan doesn’t know is how much her blog post helped me. She helped me see that there is always a light at the end of that tunnel of self-doubt (and no, it’s never a train coming). Jordan showed me that I am just as awesome as I thought, and so is she, and together, we can hold our heads high and jump in the puddles after a nice summer rain with absolute pride in the fact that we’re doing so. Without even realizing it, she reminded me that I’m not in this alone, Minions, and neither are you. I’m amazing. You’re amazing. Jordan is amazing. The Minion Horde is full of quirky misfits who don’t quite fit in anywhere. But you fit in here. With me. With us. And we are so unbelievably cool, no matter what anyone might say or think or feel about us.
“Who do you think you are?” As I sit here writing this, that’s easy for me to answer – and I’m so grateful that I can put that bracelet away again. I realize that I’m part of something special, part of a group that totally gets me. I’m weird. I like strange things. I’m not “normal”. Maybe some people can’t stand that. Maybe it makes their tummies feel uneasy to think that flawed, creepy weirdos like me are wandering the streets. And that’s okay. They have their ‘normal’. They have their ‘good enough’. They have their measure of what works and what doesn’t.
And I have mine.
And you have yours.
So, Minions…who do you think you are?
back to top