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What happens when you allow yourself to be weird in other people's eyes

Last Sunday, we went for a morning walk. We decided to choose paths and roads we hadn’t explored before, hoping to discover a new place. And wauuw, what we discovered!

The road we took was paved and lined with numerous mansions (this is a story for another time, but we live in a place in Ghana where many wealthy people build their second homes).

After 100 meters, it turned into a dirt road, leading us on a beautiful hike up the mountain. Along the way, we spotted mangoes on the ground from wild mango trees, even though the season hasn't started yet.

what happens when you allow yourself to be weird in other peoples eyes

I was really enjoying the experience. At some point, we decided to turn back and head home, but a woman who was farming approached us and asked where we were going. We explained that we were simply out for a walk. The expression on her face said it all.

"Just walking?"

“Aden?” (Why?)

In Ghana, there aren’t many people who walk just for the sake of walking. I mean, it’s questionable how many people even do this in other countries.

Here, people usually walk to their farm, to school, to their house, to meet someone, to church, to the market or while working. But walking purely for enjoyment? Haha, no.

I remember that this was one of the reasons why I sometimes held back from exploring new places because I knew the people I encountered would find it strange, look at me oddly, or fail to understand the reason why.

It used to be uncomfortable for me when others didn’t understand me or found me weird.

So, in a way, I tried to avoid it. But in avoiding it, I wouldn’t fully express myself. I wouldn’t even do what I actually wanted to do! I realized that's what I needed to work on. It wouldn’t really change if I kept on complaining about other people looking weird at me.

And how do you work on showing who you are and being yourself? Well, finding the courage within yourself and doing it anyway! Not avoiding it or changing yourself, but showing up as yourself, regardless of what others think.

Of course, there is also inner healing that can be done. In my case, I did inner child sessions on myself focused on the topic or pain of ‘feeling misunderstood or feeling like an outsider’. I also started with trying out small things! And that already made a big difference!

Anyway, where was I in my story? Oh yeah, we met the woman who was farming.

She advised us not to turn back but to continue because there was a nice view ahead, and her friend who made palm wine and akpeteshi (a strong local alcoholic drink) was there. We decided to follow her instructions.

When we met the people who were making palm wine and akpeteshi, we again encountered faces trying to figure out what we were doing there. You could really see the question marks on their faces, almost as if we were aliens. I can still feel the uncomfortable feeling when that happens, but I now know how to deal with it. Mainly breathing through the emotion is what helps me in these situations!

Long story short, they offered us some akpeteshi. Afterward, one of them said, “Let me show you around, since you walked all the way here, now I can also give you an excursion,” followed by a big smile with sparkling eyes.

We ended up somewhere in the forest, where the man showed us their palm trees and we discussed the difference between palm wine and akpeteshi, enjoying each other's company. On the picture you see blue drums that they use to make the akpeteshi.

When we said goodbye, there were only smiles and gratitude.

On the way back, I thought about how I used to avoid walks like this out of fear. Therefore, I was missing out on spontaneous encounters like this one. In the past, I would have stayed home, dreaming about walking outside and discovering new places, but nothing would have happened. I would have felt down because of it, as I wouldn’t have been doing what I truly desired.

Fear can block you in so many ways, it’s crazy! But now, as I walked home, I was full of energy, gratitude, and a full heart. It’s nourishing to be yourself and to choose what you want to do regardless of what other people think.

I wondered what the farmers we encountered would be talking about after we left, or how they would reflect on their day when they went to sleep. One thing I was sure of: they also had a great time, and the next time some random people show up on their farm, it will be less strange to them! ;-)

Where are you holding back in fully being yourself?

Do you want to be able to be yourself? If yes, what can you do to get there?

The reason I often end my letters with questions is that when you ask yourself questions, your intuition often responds! The answers are often inside of us.


This letter has been sent out on April 9th, 2024. Once in a while Ama shares part of her newsletters on her website. Do you want to receive all the letters in your mailbox? Sign up below!


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