Recently someone tried to make me look inferior in a public setting.
It threw me off guard, and I just laughed, but it continued to consume my thoughts.
Maybe I did something to make him or her mad? I had never really interacted with them before, but perhaps I offended them in some sort of way?
No, that can’t be it. I’ve only ever treated them with kindness and respect.
Maybe I am taking it too personally and misinterpreting it?
No, that’s not it. Others who witnessed it talked about how rude it was, and some felt the need to stick up for me.
These thoughts played in my head over and over again. I wasn’t sure why I was so upset about this incident, but I was.
I was talking to my therapist about this encounter and my thoughts. She told me that the way I was perceiving it was correct and that I was trying to see the good in them by making excuses.
She proceeded to say that I was the third person with this issue this week.
It was Tuesday.
That’s three people in 2 days.
That’s when it hit me.
I love being relatable – it is one of my favorite things! Unfortunately, that isn’t always a great thing. Like me, many others experience belittling, negativity, and unfairness.
Yes, I dance like a forty-year-old whose trashed on wine coolers, I rock the tassel earrings, it’s safe to assume that sparkle will be involved if I’m near, and I scream Taylor Swift lyrics like my life depends on it.
Yes, I am a twenty-something individual. I enjoy White Claws more than most would admit, I cry at predictable movies, and I am always thinking about the most Instagrammable picture.
None of those things make me irresponsible.
Yes, I will be your biggest cheerleader, I publicly rock Christmas sweaters, and I keep my face highly animated.
None of those things make me less of a person with genuine feelings.
Yes, I take classes online with virtual textbooks, online lectures, and have a lax schedule.
None of those facts mean that I am lesser than past students.
Yes, I love scrolling through Twitter, watching Instagram Stories, and Snapchatting my friends.
None of those things mean that I have never had struggles.
Yes, I am twenty-something and began my career where I indulge in chocolate-drowned coffee, craft social media content, and work on several other projects.
None of those things make me less of a hard worker.
The truth is that I do not know what is on anyone else’s plate, and others don’t realize what all falls on my plate.
Yes, I enjoy my personal time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t dedicate hours to my career, growing as a person, furthering my education, or establishing genuine relationships – it just means that I know how to live a balanced life.
Yes, I will always welcome you with a pink piece of clothing, an enormous smile, and enthusiasm straight from the North Pole. That doesn’t mean that my feelings don’t get hurt, that sometimes I feel off, or that I should be looked down upon – it just means that I will put my feelings aside to have the best experience with others.
Yes, I am pursuing a college education online. No, that doesn’t mean that I am any less of a student. In fact, I take twenty-four credit hour semesters, am an honors student, earn all A’s (except for personal finance), and have worked hard the past 2.5 years to stay away from a loan. Earning a degree online means that I am gaining work experience and an education.
Yes, I spend a considerable period on social media. That doesn’t mean that I have never felt sad, dealt with struggles, or had insecurities. When looking at mental health issues, it is quite apparent that this generation has faced several struggles.
Yes, I am in my twenties working. No, that doesn’t mean I’m any less responsible, dedicated, passionate, or willing to give it my all – it just means that I was ready to spend my time working with a team, challenging my skills, and testing my abilities.
I am a female in my twenties, and that does not make me lesser than.
Apparently, people must think it does.
Yes. I will be the first to stop at a boutique, threaten to kiss a puppies face off, spend all day at a winery, throw up the Christmas decorations, talk you up as I take 30+ pictures of you, quote Elle Woods, go hard at arts and crafts, and angrily tweet during The Bachelor.
But don’t, for a second, think that I am not a hard worker, a passionate employee, an intelligent student, or a badass.
Because you’ll be sadly mistaken when a lady like me shows you just how inferior you can be.