Song of my Life

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The past few years have been a journey of self discovery for me. All along there has been one constant thing – people asking me to change my personality, at home, at work, everywhere. The ‘you need to be’ statements have become a constant in my life.

I have always been a quiet and reserved person. Up to when I was nine, everything was fine. I was quiet but I had friends, I participated in lots of  extra-curricular activities in school-nothing felt weird.

Things changed when I transferred to another school when I was ten, at first everything seemed fine. But I had difficulty in chosing the extra-curricular activities to engage in. It was like they were developed to fit certain people. I opted for music.

A year after, people’s attitude towards me began to change. I began to get bullied, but being from Kenya, it was never really physical as fighting might have led to suspension or expulsion from the perpetrators. It was mostly statements, I was too ugly, too dark, I had a bad walk, I ran badly, I ate like a cat, I started being called stupid. They watched everything I did, and turned it into something negative. At times, the teachers got in on it. I rememeber one mocking me in class when I was 13 because of how I was running during a PE lesson.

When the bullying started, everything changed. My grades dropped and I withdrew from the world. I began spending a lot of time alone. When I got home I would lock myself in my room and just listen to music. My parents thought that I was just being rebellious. A few years down the line, my mother took the keys to my bedroom in an effort to make me mingle more.

Deep inside, I was going through so much pain. I had endured negative comments on each school day for five years of my life. My self esteem became so low that I even stopped looking into mirrors. I remember locking myself in my room one day and I began to cry. I asked God to help me forget it all… with time, I forgot about most of the memories that taunted me.

In high school, I studied in a remote part of the country. There wasn’t any bullying, people seemed to mind their own business. I made a few friends but people were puzzled at how quiet I was, I rarely interacted with students from other classes.

In my first year, I was motivated to work hard, I was still haunted by scars from my past.I started out well, but I never really believed in myself. I began to immerse myself into writing as it was one of the things that made me happy.

I finished and went to college. I made a few friends on the first week, most of them were extroverts. I would tell myself that I would work on becoming as outspoken as them.

On one idle day, I decided to go for a personality test. I found out that I was an INTJ. It was at that moment that things began to make sense. For the first time in my life, I felt like I knew who I was. My counsellor thought I was special, I didn’t exactly know why at the moment.

I however felt like I was living in an extrovert’s world. I felt like I needed to change or I would never go past an interview. I never changed, but I managed to get called to interviews for internships.

In most of the posts I got, I was questioned for being quiet. One of my bosses commented at one time, ‘smile,just say hi to …when he comes in, its easy!’ I did try to greet people but I found it hard to interact especially in a place where most people were very vocal. In my appraisal, I wrote in one section that I was an introvert but I got a response that implied that this did not matter.

With time, I changed jobs. And for a moment it felt like hell because ‘flaws’ in my personality kept being pointed out. ‘I was too quiet, I never ate lunch in groups, I was not outspoken as the new staff, I was never assertive enough,’. I tried to change… not that anyone noticed.

After hearing a few negative comments, I began to feel miserable. I decided that I would change my approach in future interviews or else people would expect me to be an extrovert. But I decided that I would not change to make others happy while I myself was unhappy. I would embrace who I am. After all, they never asked the extroverts to change. They never made efforts to understand me, but a lot of effort to judge me.

Very recently, someone told me that ‘I would die and no one would remember me’ because I was quiet. I never responded because it felt like it was a statement from a bully.

I know myself, probably better than most people think. People think that just because someone is quiet, they do not know who they are. I have decided to embrace my personality and let people think what they think, after all, they will constantly be judging me. I live in a world where people are constantly telling me what will happen in my life based solely on judgement… or looking at me as an easy target to vent out their negative comments.

‘I am Doreen (‘soy doreen’ in spanish) and I am an introvert. I am strong in my own way. In my silence I have found my confidence and my strength and I have discovered my true self’

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You Pushed me to Fall

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You pushed me to fall,

But I never did

 

You pushed harder,

But I always survived

 

With every push,

Happiness was all over your face

 

You wanted it to be the end of me,

Not because I did anything wrong,

Simply because of your own personal issues

 

You pushed me to fall,

Yet you couldn’t handle the same being done to you

 

You pushed me to fall,

Simply because you feared that I was stronger

… and I was

 

You pushed me to fall,

Hoping that one day I’ll try to push you too

… and I never did

 

You pushed me to fall,

But all I did was land in calm waters

 

You pushed me to fall,

But I fought the rough edges and the strong waters,

 

You pushed me to fall,

But I ended up in peaceful shores

 

You pushed me to fall,

But every time I survived,

I opened my eyes,

Ready to fight another day

 

You still push me to fall,

But let it stay clear,

That you will never get what you want from me

 

 

She Needed a Help

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She was silent,

But screaming inside

 

They knew something was wrong,

But they never reached out

 

The memories,

Stuck in her head

 

What she never expected,

Had happened to her

 

She blamed herself,

Yet she never knew why

 

And when she opened up to her friends,

She became disappointed

 

They laughed in disbelief,

Wondering how she acted

 

To them it was funny,

Because she looked like a quiet weak girl

 

To them it was a joke,

Because some things would never happen to girls that look like her

 

She felt like she was drowning,

But people just stared at her while she did

 

Every second was a reminder,

Of the horror she had gone through

 

But she kept it to herself,

And her part of her crushed everyday

 

Simply because,

Those around her judged her

 

Simply because,

To them,

She was not the type to be hurt no violated

 

To them,

No one was interested in a quiet girl

 

To them,

The quiet ones never got hurt

 

Years have passed,

But she still wishes

 

That she would have had a helping hand,

A shoulder to lean on,

A hand to wipe her tears,

A hand to raise her face up,

Every time it looked down in sorrow

 

But the bitter reality was that she had to be there for herself

 

She’ll be Bad

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She was good,

Till she met the bad bad boys,

She used to do everything right,

Everything the world said that a good girl should do,

Till the bad ones broke her.

 

He said he loved her,

He wanted to be with her for the rest of his life,

And when he got what he wanted,

He left her for someone better,

Whom he married.

 

She met another,

He said he loved her,

But when she gave him her chance,

He hit her,

And called her names,

Until she could take no more.

 

With time she got tired,

She believed that she was nothing,

She changed so that people would fear her,

All because she did not want to have a broken heart.

 

She let everyone think that she was loose,

She became rude,

She acted like she never cared,

She became the bad girl.

 

But deep down,

She knew that she was protecting herself,

And it was better to close her doors,

Than to be broken by by someone she grew to trust and love.

 

 

Strength

It takes strength to forgive,
It takes even more strength to forget,
That’s why it isn’t really forgiveness,
Unless it has been forgotten,
It takes love,
It takes strength,
It takes courage,
To forget the mistakes of the past,
To know that you’ll love someone,
That you’ll stick by them,
Through the good , the great, the best, the bad, the mistakes and the arguments

I Did It

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Finally did it,

Let go of the past,

The pain,

All that go through it

 

Finally did it,

Achieved by myself,

All those empty promises you made,

And it feels good

 

Finally did,

Made a step forward,

After realizing,

You are the best thing,

That never went on in my life

 

All the burdens,

All the pain,

Its all gone

 

Thank you,

For the life lessons,

You taught me,

That you’ll never get to lern

 

Thank you,

For making me know,

Desperate people,

And those who’ll hurt others,

Just to feel confident

 

Thank you,

For reminding me of a past,

And adding on to it,

Hoping one day it will change lives

 

I finally let go,

Did it all by myself,

Watched my dreams come true

 

Thank you for hurting me,

Because of you,

I’ll learn to love even more,

I’ll know who’s a liar,

And whose right for me

 

I did it,

Through God’s grace,

And the little strength i had in me,

I said ‘goodbye’,

To the past