Diverting a bit from my usual posts about my academics and travel adventures to talk about something a little deeper which has unexpectedly helped contribute to my growth here while abroad.
The first few days in a new place, let alone a new country, are always a bit uneasy feeling like you’re a bit out of your comfort zone. Well when I first got to Maastricht I of course had those feelings but when I began to explore the town more over the last few weeks I realized there was more to this uneasiness I was feeling.
I realized my queerness in a small town like Maastricht wasn’t something people encountered everyday. As I walked around the town exploring different stores sometimes it would be a face made at me and other times it would be the complete non-acknowledgement of my existence. At first I thought maybe it’s because people can tell I am not from the area but the more I encountered the same responses even with other international students I realized it was deeper than that.
Not going to lie when I began to realize this it was as if I was coming out again like it was the first time in a very long time that I felt uncomfortable in my queerness.
The time spent in that uncomfortable place processing things actually prompted me to do some self-reflection on why people’s judgements were even bothering me. Why was I worried about people’s judgements, people who I would probably never see again in my life.
This reflection helped me to look deeper into parts of myself that haven’t fully healed yet. It wasn’t about what people were thinking of me it is about what I think of me. It was about being unapologetically who I am because I know that I am a good person with a good heart and good intentions for others. If people want to make negative judgements of me because of what I look like or any other aspect of me they can because that doesn’t matter.
To me what matters is that I remain a good person to myself and to others. To keep manifesting my dreams and inspiring others to do the same because in life there are always going to be people who judge us, look down on us, who don’t believe in us but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we believe in ourselves, we love and accept ourselves, we forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make, and keep striving to be a better person than we were the day before.
I write about this now because I feel I am in a place where I have processed and grown personally from my experiences so far both negative and positive. I want others, who might read this and relate, to know they are not alone in their journey, their struggles both internally and externally. We all can learn and grow. I am thankful for it all.
Everything we go through in life makes us who we are and I feel like it’s up to us to have a perspective on life that allows us to do so in a positive way.