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Attitudes and Perceptions

            In today's culture, life is nothing but judgment upon a individuals actions. My life has been nothing but accusations made about me, people judging my values and character. This has been a daily problem I face. This often affects self-esteem, becoming so obsessed with how others perceive me that often I lose sight of myself. I've noticed many individuals often judge me off my attitude, physical abilities, and what others say of me.
             The main problem I face is people assuming I'm stuck up, or unapproachable. All throughout high school I wondered, "Why don't people like me", "what did I do?" I always thought there was something individuals had against me. Come to find out my senior year, many felt as if I was mean and stuck up. Upon asking why, the answer was just how I carried myself. I never wanted to be perceived as mean or unapproachable, I'm actually quite opposite. I'm one of the more friendly people a person could meet. However, I did carry myself in a manner that was defensive. I was so paranoid with the idea of me against the world that I failed to realize in reality I was against myself the whole time. From that moment, I've always tried to let go of my fear of being rejected and give people an opportunity to see the real me. When I started doing this, I became happier and others started saying positive things about me, like I always wanted to happen.
             Along with my attitude, a key player in how others perceive me is physical ability. In the military, being the only female Abrams tank mechanic on my line team and in my entire unit, the males were weary about me. Often perceiving me as a 'typical female', meaning I had thin skin, I couldn't hold my weight, I couldn't do my job as good as or as fast as the males. Going into my unit, I knew to expect that. However, the situation seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't change their outlook. I was often harassed and threatened by male soldiers that I had animosity with, but if I spoke up, I was being a 'typical female'.

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