We are always trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations of who we are and who we should be, it shouldn’t be like that. What about the ones we have for ourselves? We always forget about what WE need and want when we shouldn’t. What we need has to come first, always.
This is something that has taken me a long time to learn. Now, I want to share with you a quote that I will always keep in the back of my mind. It is “Your expectations of me are not my responsibility to live up to”. And it is absolutely the truth. It’s NOT our responsibility to live up to everyone else’s expectations of who we are and what we should be doing with our lives.
Who we are and what we want to do with our lives is so much more important than what other people have to say about it. Stop trying to fill everyone else’s cup before you fill your own. We have our own hopes and dreams to follow. The expectations we have for ourselves should be our first priority always.
Please remember that it’s not your responsibility to carry all of those expectations on your shoulders. The expectations you have for yourself are what matter most. You have your own life to live and that’s okay, I promise.
Throughout Encanto, Isabela’s family chooses to call her the “perfect” one. Isabela has one of my favorite gifts in the Madrigal family. She can grow flowers, trees, plants and so much more. She’s constantly creating these beautiful, perfect flowers that she hasn’t realized that she can make so many other beautiful things.
The Madrigal family, especially the Abuela, hold Isabela to incredibly high standards and expectations because she’s so perfect. She feels like she has to be perfect all the time because that’s what her family expects of her. She chooses to put on a brave face but she’s tired of being someone she’s not.
Honestly, we’ve all been in her shoes at some point. We’ve all pushed who we really are to the back of our minds because of the expectations set by those around us. Honestly, we aren’t going to be perfect but that’s the reality of the world we live in. I mean, I can definitely admit I’ve been there.
Growing up, I used to think that because I was a girl that I had to do girly things. You know things like doing my hair, wearing makeup, stupid stereotypical girl stuff. I felt like that’s what was expected of me. Eventually, I was over it. I just wanted to be who I wanted to be. No matter how anyone else felt about it.
I didn’t want to wear makeup or do my hair all the time. Honestly, I just wanted to read, learn and express myself. Unfortunately, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do that if I continued trying to live up to everyone’s expectations of me. You can’t please everyone. In fact, the only person who’s opinion matters is yours.
At one point in the movie, Mirabel goes to apologize to her sister for ruining her special night. This apology is what she and Bruno believe will save their family’s miracle. Instead, they get into an argument because Mirabel doesn’t really know how Isabela is really feeling. She admits that she was only doing the things that she did because it would benefit the family. While expressing her feelings to her sister, Isabela creates a cactus. This is something she’s never done before. She begins to wonder what more she can do with her gift.
Isabela and Mirabel go off on an exciting, eye-opening musical montage where she creates these beautiful, multicolored cactuses and so much more. She begins to realize that she doesn’t want to be pretty and perfect, she just wants to be true to who she really wants to be. She wants to have fun and be able to express herself the way that she wants. There’s so much more to her than just beautiful flowers.
Before the end of the song, Isabela realizes who she really needs to thank. As a proud, big sister Isabela tells Mirabel that she owes all of it to her. Mirabel taught Isabela that it was okay to be imperfect as long as that’s what felt true. A truly beautiful moment that does in fact fix the cracks in their home and makes the candle’s flame burn brighter. Both Isabela and her relationship with Mirabel truly teach us an important lesson.
Isabela teaches us that being perfect comes with its own consequences. Everything Isabela was doing was not for herself but because that’s what her family was expecting of her. Eventually, she got sick of trying to fit into a box she clearly didn’t fit in anymore. There is much more authenticity in being imperfect than being perfect. Be who you want to be, not what they expect you to be.
Her relationship with her sister on the other hand, now that’s definitely a bigger picture lesson. Isabela and Mirabel do not have the best relationship as sisters. Isabela is constantly telling her sister that she’s only getting in the way and not being helpful when she does things that nobody has asked her to. Despite their rocky relationship, Mirabel still cares about her sister and wants her to be able to express herself. Mirabel was the one who reminded Isabela that it was okay not to be perfect all the time.
Sometimes, we just need someone to remind us that it’s okay not to be perfect. Or that it’s okay to not meet everyone’s expectations of you. But sometimes, that someone has to be you. Never force yourself to fit in a box, you will never have the chance to grow. You deserve to be wholeheartedly yourself and nobody should every make you feel otherwise. There is so much more to who we are than what people expect of us. We are made to grow free and blossom, we should not be let anyone or anything keep us from doing that.
What else can YOU do?
Check out Looper’s article about Why Abuela is hardest on Isabelahere!
Voices 4 Hope is a peer run website that (similar to us) aims to connect young people with mental illness to each other with the goal of living happily and independently. They also use Young Adult peer voice to drive research and create new treatment that are helpful to the people who know most- the ones with lived experience!
Sounds cool, right?
Check them out!
What a wonderful act of kindness demonstrated by the people in this video. At this moment in time nothing mattered, not religion, gender, ethnicity, nothing. When we are able to unite and come together as one, amazing things like saving a life can happen.
2017 Summer Fest
I noticed that the YAZBIZ 2017 Summer Fest is this Friday! I won’t be able to join in on the fun because I’ll be attending the 2017 Alternatives Conference in Boston, MA, which I’ll be sure to tell you guys all about that.
For now, I would love to know if any of you are going? If you are, please take some pictures for me and send them over!
I hope everyone has a wonderful time!
Outspoken – LGBT youth group
Check out one of TCC’s oldest groups for the LGBT youth. Its a support group called Outspoken for teenagers and young adults between ages 13 and 22 years old. Its held everything Sunday at TCC in Norwalk, CT. Click on this link to learn more:
Arts In The Woods 2
During Camp I joined a writing track that required us to compose a poem that includes chants that we would use at a protest rally. I think everyone should try this as a simple way to start their own protest. I included a draft of my poem plus some of the interviews that I did and promised to share below:
The Government doesnt speak for us
The media doesnt speak for us
We are our own champions
…The change we want to see
We are aggravated and disgruntled
By social prejudice and systematic oppression
In our schools and on our streets.
There is is too much going on
For too long
Too much racism
Too much homophobia
Too much isms.
Society needs to exist for all of us
And social norms need not define how we dress
How we look
Who we marry
Or who we choose to love.
What excuse does our government has for our homeless youth
Who are sleeping on trains
And standing in soup lines
When they should be in school.
What excuse does our government has for our black brothers and sisters
Who hardly have a choice between welfare and a good job?
Where do they get employed if they are too black?
Too uneducated or too thug?
What messages do we send
To that child of a single mother
…A mother who struggles to get home
Night after night
To her sobbing child
Who is still up late and cannot sleep
Through the shock and trauma
from the ringing of bullets from her bedroom window
Where is our voice? Who answers our questions?
How do we channel our messages into actions?
We are bruised by prejudice and ignorance and we need change now!
Not because we are poor, or because we are gay or because we are black
But because we are humans!
Arts In The Woods
This weekend I took a trip out into the woods with some of the most amazing people in life. I was at a retreat called Arts in the Woods, a short break for LGBT youth around the country, in upstate New York.
This is just about the safest place that you can call home. For me it was that and more: cultural authenticity, introspection and a do-whatever-you-want kind of ambiance.
Arts in the woods brought together people from all over but most of all it brought our stories together, of young adults hoping to see their dreams come true but who have been pushed to the edge of society because of who they are.
It was an experience that brought me to laughter and tears. We came together in these woods to find the family – that for many of us, and for a very long time, only existed in our minds.
A family that you can only hope would last forever. If only we could have more bonfires, make more dresses together, do more drag, read more poems, vogue a little more, go tubing every day, cook and eat together sing together, hide in the dark together and just forget all the madness that scourges our lives outside the woods, life would pretty much be one amazing experience- and simply that.
I felt so much joy from being there. The interviews that I did with some of my fellow campers (which I will share next week) taught me a lot and most importantly they showed me that everyone owns their own stories, their own protest, their own experience and their ambition.
And there were so many bold faces enriched with talents that were tailored to perfection and that filled the lounge hall with shouting, screaming, clapping and snapping every night.
Going to arts in the woods, I was hoping to find support and make friendships but instead I have found a community and a family.
The theme for this year, “Thrive in the Woods” – the underlying meaning of which stems from yearning to go beyond the obstacles that may confront us in our day to day life.
Writers, musicians, rappers, videographers, dancers, drag stars, this has been a talent galore – you are either in the woods to find your glitter or to share your glitter – of trial and error; here I have discovered so many great talents, it’s only a wonder where all these people have been.
To tap it off, there is that strong bond that made us believe that we have always known each other and this was just a huge family reunion.
Suicide Prevention Mental Health FIlms! "Breaking Taboo"
We are a non profit working hard on our film series “Breaking Taboo” to break the taboo against Mental Health & Suicide Prevention. We are trying to reach as many people and get as much support as possible in our mission to Save as many lives as possible! Please like* our facebook: www.facebook.com/BreakingTaboo and support us if you can: www.breakingtaboofilm.com and indiegogo campaign: https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/breaking-taboo/x/12237851
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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