I’ve spent a long time trying to not be seen. As a 5’10” woman who in the 2nd grade was already 5’7″… I always stuck out. It bothered me deeply. I was teased endlessly even when I was a skinny kid for being a “cow” because I was just plain bigger than the rest of the kids my grade. For some reason I let that way of thinking that I needed to be like everyone else become one of my goals.
The world started to mold me, and I allowed it. From this tall, unique creature my parents were so proud of into a jell-o mold. Why? For what?
It’s not like when I dressed up in all the white wool that I could blend in. I was still tall. I was still louder than the average person. I still preferred boots and jeans over a short dress and heels. There I was with all this limitless potential to be such a stand out individual and I was wasting it stressing out over being the tall one in the back of the group photo with the girls.
I remember specifically when I was at an artists retreat in 2015 how stressed I was to fit in. All the tiny people with their skinny jeans, saggy beanie hats, vintage sunglasses playing dress up so they could hopefully be asked to have their portrait taken. Instead of taking in the moment of being in this stunning canyon I literally spent the entire trip comparing myself to every other single person there. Why didn’t I look like them? Why wasn’t I one of them?
I spent $1500+ to spend a week dissecting myself and trying to fit in rather than just being who the fuck I was and diving into my creative self. How sad is that? An experience that could have been so inspiring for my soul turned into something that really crushed my self esteem and made me doubt myself more than ever.
We all know who we really are. If you really take the time to step away from social media, step away from the company you keep, and look deep down in what you fantasize doing in your life. There you will find yourself on the big screen of your mind. You will see that person and really love them. But do you let yourself become that person… or do you just let them go and put them back in the box?
Through my whole life I always had a penchant for Rock n’ Roll and Country music. I didn’t like doing my hair too much. I didn’t like frilly nails or heels. There was a point in 2016 where I looked at myself in the mirror and saw so many things I didn’t love.
The irony? The things I didn’t like were things that just weren’t me. But things I thought I needed to fit a mold.
There was my expensive hair extensions that took hours out of my week to maintain. Acrylic nails that I was spending $80 a week on. Uncomfortable pin-up dresses and outfits. Heels that made my feet hurt. Fake eyelashes because the ladies I hung out with wore them so I figured that was how to be beautiful. I even listened the music in my own car that was what they wanted to listen to instead of what I loved. God damnit Heather, cut off this shit and put on the fucking ‘Stones.
It took rock bottom. But I lost the fake hair. The fake nails. I sold off most of all that uncomfortable shit that I would force myself to wear. I even got rid of the push up bras that lied to the world about my bust size. I put my nerd t-shirts back on. I wore those old boots to every fancy occasion because they were my version of fancy.
Something changed. I looked in the mirror and knew I could go to bed with that person every night. That person was someone I really fucking liked.
Yeah I have lost a lot of friends since I began this transformation. Yes things got really dark for awhile. I felt alone, depressed and isolated. In the end of this transformation though I found something more than just myself.
I found the other black sheep out there. The creators. The free spirits. The believers. The dreamers. They came to me like a magnet. There I was for a moment feeling like I was completely alone in the world listening to the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, and embracing my Willie Nelson obsession… when those cool black sheep poked me to take the headphones off and asked me what I was jamming to. And they were into it. And I was into what they had playing in their headphones.
Being the black sheep is awesome. It’s a shame it took me 30 years to realize that’s what I was. But it’s better now than never.