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I am going to start with an introduction of the past me, the me that I've been on a year long journey to repair. I am Alexis Runyon. I've gone by many names: FatboyJefferson on Wattpad, GutterGurl on Soundcloud, and Yoshii Dey on Instagram. I kept trying to hide myself and my identity while also making my talents prominent. That isn't a way to live. I've learned you either embrace it or stay hidden. I have depression, anxiety, stage fright, little confidence in myself, and so many more flaws. I've been through the ringer, but the vow I made myself forced me to become who I am today; and I absolutely love myself.
New Year's Eve of 2017, I decided on a resolution, and it was this: I will embrace myself and my flaws with no shame and not worry about how people around me view me. I forced myself to stick with this for a month. I really wasn't enjoying it, but that's because I was still doing my makeup like a pretty girl and wearing trendy things. I wasn't being true to myself. I was being fake.
So I changed that.
Valentine's Day of 2018, I came into school with hearts drawn on the side of my face with dark eyeliner. I was wearing winged eyeliner and bright pink eyeshadow, a pink shirt, and I had done my hair the way I wanted to. As soon as I walked through the doors of the high school, I felt hundreds of pairs of eyes burning holes in my skin as if they were lasers. The judgmental looks and sneers were actually, somewhat... exhilarating. I felt different, completely different. My unique makeup had never shown up in my area before, or my Instagram, and within a week, my Instagram followers had tripled. People really started to notice me after months and months of unique makeup looks and outfits.
By being myself, I attracted other people who felt like they had to hide themselves and their interests. I found friends. I started to encourage others to do what they love. I watched as classmates, internet friends, and fans began to do makeup how they wanted, they dressed as they wanted, and they became who they wanted.
I believe I've started a revolution, and I can only credit a specific person for that. This might seem completely cliche, but my role model is Gustav Ahr. You may know him best as Lil Peep. This man's music saved me in the summer when I had no friends and was being bullied. Through him I have met so many people and created so many bonds. Most people see his face tattoos, painted nails, lyrics, and dyed hair as trashy and something to look down on. He was only expressing himself and he helped so many others to come out with their true selves.
I strive to continue his goals and improve the self esteem and personalities of the youth. We, as a whole community, want other generations to stop their harsh judgment and accept everyone for who they are. Times are tough now for people in society and being socially accepted.
I have narrowed my advice down to four steps to becoming happier and learning to change your mindset towards others. It does take time to break toxic habits, but I am living proof that this is completely possible. And it's worth it. You will feel like life has improved greatly.
Step One: Take risks.
It really doesn't matter how old you are. You can always do something risky. My definition of risky is something outside of your comfort zone. This could be wearing dramatic makeup to school, going out and partying instead of staying home alone, or impulsively making a decision that you've been wanting to do for a while but haven't had the guts. This is the first step in becoming a better you. When you do this one thing, you will feel more powerful. You will feel accomplished and I guarantee there will be positive feedback from the public, even if there is negative feedback as well. You are going to be judged all of your life, sadly. Why not be judged for doing what you love? At least then you'll be happy.
Step Two: Find a base.
You can start to feel like the only one making a change. Therefore, you should find some sort of role model or a friend who is doing something similar so that you are not discouraged. I turned to friends of Lil Peep such as HeavyRayn and Omgimwigs. They really helped me push past my fears and reminded me to be myself and not cave to society's definition of a functioning citizen of maturity and professionalism. JUST BE YOURSELF. I've heard of other people turning to religion, meditation, and outlets such as art and/or music.
Step Three: Tolerate and be patient.
People will give you complete hell over being yourself. I've seen guys at my school becoming "normal" after wearing manicured fake nails and getting bullied for it. I hate that. Keep expressing yourself! Bullies aren't going anywhere with their lives, man, but you are! Draw designs on your face, wear wigs, get a little colorful and glittery, completely change your wardrobe! Do what you feel is right for you, and when you see someone else expressing themselves, encourage them instead of judge. Even if it goes against what you believe, please be respectful. They are still human beings just like you. We are all fighting the same battle, just different demons. Soon, after disciplining your mind, you will realize almost instantly that everyone is going through something that you don't know about. You've just got to teach yourself to be positive rather than spread negativity. It's a process, but the results are beautiful.
Step Four: Bliss
You will feel amazing when your mind has become something you can control. You will be able to halt bad thoughts and you will have so much confidence and feel so powerful in just doing what you love. Life will get better, and you will be able to deal with things much easier. People will begin to see the kindness you radiate. Your mind becomes very open and you start to love people. I decided to be friends with a kid in my grade who is bullied beyond the point of depression. He reached out begging for a friend. He saw how I accept people... he has to be hurting so bad and I feel terrible. People are mean, but I decided to change his life and talk to him and make him feel better. You have the power to be something great.
You will love yourself and life endlessly. You will find the beauty in it.
I pray for you on your journey, and I love you all.
This is the key to peace.