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You’ll Never Be Able to Call Me A Proteus

Updated on May 25, 2017
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Kerri is a writer and an amateur photographer from Jackson, Tennessee. She's also awesome and 140 characters isn't enough for her bio.

From a legal standpoint, I’ve been an adult for almost 12 years now. For almost 12 years, I’ve been allowed to make my own decisions without fear of the ramifications of parental punishment. Ironically, from the time my social life began around the age of 15 until the very last day I was still legally a child, no one called my father to inform him of my actions or decisions. However, here I stand, 29 years old, completely annoyed by the lack of willpower some people have to simply mind their own business.

I would rather be genuine and real than to attempt to conform to the falsehoods created by society. I refuse to live a double life like so many people do. Think about it for a moment. Here’s a scenario: To the public, Jane lives a subtle life of complacency. Her each and every action is calculated based upon the perceived judgement of others:

“If I wear this, what will they think?” “If I say what I really think, will they think I’m a bad person?”

So Jane buys clothes she really doesn’t like. She puts them on, and she doesn’t feel pretty at all. Jane completely disagrees with a co-worker, but Jane smiles and fabricates a response with which her co-worker will be pleased.

Jane is a proteus. In Classical Mythology, Proteus is a sea god who changed “physical” forms to avoid being captured. Proteus would only provide truthful information to anyone who was able to capture him. However, he consistently changed his appearance to avoid this, and when his appearance changed, his prophecies changed as well.

The modern definition of a proteus is, “a person who readily changes appearance, characters, principle, etc.”

Interestingly, the plural version (protei) is, “any of several rod-shaped, aerobic bacteria of the genus Proteus,sometimes found as pathogens in the gastrointestinal andgenitourinary tracts of humans.”

Well, I can assure you of this: You’ll never find me in your intestinal tract. On the other hand, I can guarantee you that if you get out your microscope, you’ll certainly find some of your peers whom you consider to be ideal, model citizens.

I guess I’m learning something. Though unknown to me previously, it is clear now that no matter the level of a woman’s confidence, she will be negatively judged because of that level regardless. The world urges women who lack confidence to accept and love themselves for exactly whom they are (despite the fact that this sometimes promotes health issues, but whatever. That’s another story.). Until a woman’s demeanor portrays the level of confidence that society urges, she is judged by her lack of confidence. When a woman reaches the level that people have suggested throughout her entire life, she has two options: hide the confidence by being a proteus, or publicize her confidence and be negatively judged by doing so.

Here are some fitting quotes, because I love quotes. I’m confident that I love quotes.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”
Coco Chanel, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman

“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.”
Frank Zappa

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

“The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.”
Leo Buscaglia

“You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

I’ve focused on pleasing other people for far too long. For years, I’ve heard how I wasn’t good enough. I’m finding myself to dismiss that notion. In the process, I’ll have ups and downs. Eventually, my self-esteem will match my confidence. Until then, I’m going to do what I feel necessary to love myself.

Yep. I’m focused on me.

If you have a problem with that, you’re clearly focused on the wrong person.

Metaphorically speaking, get the hell out of my intestinal tract.

Oh, and leave your dad’s number with me.


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