My name is Rachel, and I’m a small town girl. In high school, I was made fun of for being the super neurotic girl who always tried too hard to fit in. I can count on one hand the number of real girlfriends I had, and I was not by any means considered one of the pretty or popular girls. You could say my choice of after school program was silently comparing everything about myself to others.
Fast-forward 6 years later: I still see a glimpse of that insecure girl inside of me; but I try my hardest not to give it away. (Being born and raised for 23 years in the same town hasn’t encouraged much change.) I still see those girls who would mock me, and the jocks who never once looked my way. And I’m constantly reminded of my past. Though I am very good at faking confidence, the reality is I’m probably looking at popular Instagrams, Pinterest boards, and more to figure out how I can be more like others.
I have always struggled with figured out how to be my own individual, because I want to be an individual who’s well liked. But it was just the other day my boyfriend said something very eye opening: “Rachel, you’re such a yes-girl. Every time someone throws out an idea, or opinion, or suggestion, you’re the first to jump on board with that person. And sure you’re building rapport in doing so; but having your own ideas, opinions, suggestions- that’s what will get you farther.”
Wow. I was being the same girl I was in high school- doing whatever I can to fit in and have people LIKE me. But why do I care? Why is it so important to me?
I’m writing this to not only get real with myself, but because I want to know if any of you have gone through this too. *Insert girl raising hand emoji
The media shoves “what’s hot and what’s not” down our throats every single day- buy these shoes, try doing your make up like this, use this filter on your posts. And because I don’t choose to make an opinion of my own- I just blindly subscribe to all of it. I’ve never considered myself a follower, and I don’t want to begin now.
Which brings me to my point: new town, new me.
After 23 years in a one-horse town of people judging one another, I moved to Seattle, Washington. And although it’s nearing August now, I have a resolution: be my own person. I’m going to stop caring about what other think is cool and create my own identity, my own style, my own personal brand of girl.
Here’s what I’ve got so far: I’m Rachel, I’m 23 years old and I do not have it together. I like walking around (and getting lost) in unfamiliar neighborhoods with my pup, Matilda, trying (and occasionally failing) new recipes, and I sing all the time without realizing that the setting doesn’t always call for it. I’m a liberal at heart but also very spiritual. And I think dancing awkwardly in public is really funny.
I like to wear stripes with floral print, karaoke, and any amber ale I can get my hands on. I think Sara Bareilles is ghastly underrated and I know every word to every song on T.S. 1989.
I want to be outspoken sometimes, and I want to have an unpopular opinion. I want to stop caring if people like me or if they think I’m annoying.
I want to be a new kind of me, and I want to use this new place as a guide to finding her.
- Rachel Sanchez
*Aggressively raises hand.* We have definitely been there, Rachel! Breaking old molds is difficult, but can be made so much easier with not only new vibes but new scenery. Jumping into new settings is scary but so rewarding! Being Bonafide is all about being unapologetically, genuinely YOU. We can't wait to hear about the new girl you discover in Seattle, but we're pretty sure we already love her. :)