I Won't Apologize for Who I Am

For almost half of my life, I wanted to be invisible. I was so shy that when someone would ask me my name, I'd practically break out into hives. Shy kids don't get invited to sleepovers, birthday parties, empty seats at lunch tables. I got good at blending in. I got laughed at enough that I got great at just getting by. I had bumps on my face before kids knew to call it acne. I considered characters in books personal friends. If awkward was cool, I would have been the coolest. But it wasn't.

I went to the same school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. I was so stuck, so blah, so not me.

On of the first day of high school, my mom dropped me off at a new school where I didn't know anyone. She knew I'd be okay but she gave me a few coins and said call her from the payphone if I needed her. 

I got out of the car, I stuck the coins in my backpack. I told myself: JEN here's your chance to be anyone you want.

I decided to be me. To be bold, daring, determined, bright, sparkly, loud, memorable, kind, strong, awkward, electric, and different.

And as I grew up, and the shy little nobody that people used to chase around and make fun got on TV, got on podcasts, on big stages, I've tried really hard to make sure every eyeball, every person in the room, gets to meet me, and when they do, feel something powerful within themselves. 

I'll never apologize for being who I am. Neither should you.

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