"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."-Dr. Seuss

This quote is plastered to your Instagram photos. You know the ones where you execute the perfect carefree open smile. It's a common Facebook mantra and everyone has tweeted sometime in their Twitter life. It's the advice we impart upon our loved ones when they are the "third wheel" of their friend group. It's the flowery poetry we give to high school kids who lament about not fitting in. But how many times have we, ourselves, actually taken that quote to heart when we experience our own turmoils?

It's human nature to seek community. We are social beings. Whether it is with family or at the workplace, we seek out connections with like-minded people, but not everyone is going to welcome us with open arms. I recently experienced this with a "friend" who wasn't too keen on me. I had no idea. When we were all together, she was cordial and courteous. She would entertain my small talk and fill me in on her life happenings.  When her birthday came around, she invited everyone else in our group but  me to the party. It was her birthday. She can chose who she wants to spend it with, but I was a bit hurt. After getting out of my feelings, I was able to think it over.

What I learned from that moment has made all the difference in my life. Spending time holding a grudge over someone that doesn't like you is pointless. First of all, they probably don't even know you are upset. They are seriously going on about their daily lives  while you are cutting your days short. Now, if this is a person you have substantial relationship with by all means talk it out. But coworkers, friends of friends and ex's are not the the people to lose your time over. Holding on to anger only hurts one person, yourself.

"Those Who Matter Don't Mind."
Spend your time focusing on and appreciating the right people. In my anger about the situation, I was alienating the very people that see me as important in their lives. By all means, vent to your friends and family.  But not too much. Your family and friends have lives of their own and as much as they want to right all the wrong that has been done to you, they can't. So instead of whining about why so and so doesn't like you, engross yourself in the magical, beautiful and magnificent relationships that you have been blessed with. 

"Those Who Mind Don't Matter."
Be you. The right loved ones will accept you, but they will also challenge you in a positive way. They will gladly embrace (and sometimes tolerate) your flaws, console you during a terrible day and be an arrow pointing you in the right direction. Real friends will make you a better person. When you remind yourself that there are people in your life like this and many that you will continue to meet on this journey, your focus is shifted to gratefulness. Change is necessary, but not changing who you are to fit in or please others. 

That Dr. Seuss guy was on to something. Everyone is not going to be your bestie. Shoot, associate may even be a stretch for some people. You can't allow other's opinions of you to dictate your life.  Why cry over not being invited to a party?  Why spend hours grumbly gossiping about your co-worker's infamous side eye? By doing that, you're letting trivial things take you away from who really matters.  Embrace who you are because there are people who love you for it.

Jelisa Jay Robinson is a writer and playwright. Jelisa has been featured on Quirky Brown Love, Her Campus and is a regular contributor to Real Brown Girls and The LatiNegrxs Project. She hopes to spread empowerment, joy and peace to the world through writing.  You can catch her musings on fierceness, Afrolatinidad and art, on her blog, Black Girl, Latin World and twitter @jelisathewriter.

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