Reputation is the most important aspect of success. It can come in different forms. In animalistic terms, you can have the reputation of a kitten, a bear, or a lion, and in either depiction you could be successful. It comes down to the way you conduct yourself; the way people do and don't see your existence. Whether we want to admit it or not, others opinions of us matter. We are celebrities in our own worlds; the stars of our show. The viewers who care about our lives are watching; and like all of us, they watch with great intrigue, hope, envy, and hidden agendas. It all depends on our motives. A Streetwalker solicits their goods. Everyone knows the Streetwalkers motives; their agenda; their purpose. Sadly, too many of us decide on our lifestyles for the gratification of others, or because of the acceptance of defeat.
I've observed a lot of things growing-up. I've witnessed so many different situations and people. There's nothing extraordinary or unique about the things I've observed. These circumstances, trials and tribulations- depictions of life, are simply that: Life. I've seen a great many Streetwalkers; snakes that don't hide in the grass but perch right on the front step and eye you face to face. All too often, these snakes are ourselves.
I think about the things I needed more of as an adolescent: love and affection. Notice that "I" wasn't my focus, but what I needed from others was. I attribute the younger years of my life to the emotional detachments that I struggle with as an adult. I have to WORK on allowing myself to feel, to trust in feeling, to this day. I remember sitting in my room thinking about all the things I wished I had; comparing the state of my life to others. If it wasn't thinking about a new pair of Nikes versus Payless and K-Mart Pro Con sneakers I had to wear, it was comparing my kinky hair to the girl that sat next to me in English with the perm. I think about how I watched boys chase other girls and I wondered, "Was I not pretty enough?" It's amazing how we constantly compare ourselves to others; wishing for everything we don't have instead of focusing on what we do. I didn't appreciate ME then, the way I do now.
I grew- up a "Tomboy". Guys saw me as a "homegirl" more than anything else. I still remember having conversations with guys in middle school that I liked, about other girls they wanted to be with. I never said a word. I was too desperate for their attention; just to be acknowledged meant more to me than my own personal feelings. Never once did I realize everything that I wanted had no meaning to them. I see this very same scenario everyday of my life; young girls and boys, grown women and men, walking around like Streetwalkers with one obvious agenda: to be accepted. I think about the desperation I see in their eyes and I recognize that because it used to be me. I wanted acceptance so badly when I was young that I forgot about me.
I am lucky. I was fortunate enough to find MY beauty, MY self-value, and MY confidence by high school. It took
a few broken hearts, a lot of disappointment, and most of all a lot of acceptance of myself to grow beyond the perception that I had created in my head of what it took to be somebody in this world. It took me realizing that I am just as special as the next person, and that if I valued myself more than a Streetwalker, more than a symbol of demeaning value, I could have anything I desired.
I stopped making my life about fitting into others perceptions. Now, there's no limit to what I see, want, or have the ability to obtain in my life. I'm not ashamed of the girl that use to seek acceptance; that used to call out for some acknowledgement of existence. I'm proud that she found herself amongst the midst of self- doubt and decided to LIVE a different way; to LIVE for HERSELF.
We should never sell-out our existence for others; we should never make our life about what we need from others. We should accept the qualities of our life that are valuable; those perfect flaws that make us who we are. The most beautiful thing in my life is not me; it's knowing that I found MYSELF in a world full of lost Streetwalkers seeking restitution for all the wrong reasons.
LIVE your life for YOU, and your reputation will out live even your existence.