6 Ways I Stay Oh, So True To Myself (an ever-changing list)
"I am an open book,
I am an open book, I am not shy about what I love and who I am.
LOCATION: Los Angeles, California/Saudi Arabia
OCCUPATION: Creative / Unknown ( moving, living, thinking and breathing fashion, film and all forms of art )
Meet Najwa, our bad-ass woman of the week. And just what makes her so damn inspiring? Her courage--and note: courage is not the absence of fear. Rather it's the determination to act despite your fear. And she manages to do just that in the various ways she expresses herself. She wants to influence the world with art and her purpose in life is to be an exposable piece of art. From her raw writing to her unapologetic photography, Najwa deconstructs stereotypes, spreads kindness, uplifts other women, and stays true to who she really is.
Below, the 6 ways Najwa stays true to herself:
1. I Am Aware of Myself:
I think self-awareness should be taught and practiced by everyone (even at school). Knowing who I am as a whole living, breathing and feeling human being has made me KNOW how to be true to myself because I know who I am and what I want. Being self aware also means being able to admit your weaknesses and flaws but being determined to work on them. There are obviously moments in which I am unsure of myself or a situation, so I have to take step back, re-evaluate and move forward. I always look at it like analyzing a poem. There’s a lot of psychology in it but once you get a hang of the basic stuff you can start to go like, “Oh, I acted this way not because of this but because of my fear of failing” etc. It takes a lot to be open, brutal and honest with yourself but it's very self liberating!
2. I Try Not To Judge/ I Am Forgiving of Others Actions:
Someone on set once told me two words that he said could get me through any situation in life, "I relate.” Those words really resonated with me. I try my best always not to be judgmental of anyone or put them in a stereotype. Being openminded to other people's behavior due to an unknown situation is so important. Its like practicing self-awareness but reversing the roles. I am not better than anyone and they are not better than me, I don't know their struggles and they don't know mine. I won’t ever get the full story unless I’ve experienced it myself and there are always two sides to a situation. I try to understand both before concluding anything, and even then I am not always so sure. I think through time I realized that I hated certain things being done to me and I make sure I don't do the same to anyone else ( don't do something you wouldn't want someone else to do to you ) and one of those things, for sure, is being misjudged.
3. I Embrace My Weirdo! To. Each. His. Own.
Some people feel comfortable sticking to the crowd but I think it's fun to get out of your comfort zone and do your own thing. I definitely have to push myself sometimes and I always hear the word “brave” thrown around. I wish it didn't require bravery to be open about who you are but I hope one day it comes naturally to everyone. As humans we also need to stop labeling what isn't familiar to us as “weird." I guess in a way, it is being sincere; I am an open book, I am not shy about what I love and who I am. It can be hard being comfortable with who you are but eventually with time, I think everyone should reach a place in which they can throw their hearts out to the world without being scared about whether people will catch it or throw it in the dirt. (People will hate you whether you are doing bad or good).
I will love others because I have loved myself.
4. I Am Smart with My Words (and how I present myself):
Being true to myself also means being true to others. I'm not talking about just lies. I'm also talking about inauthentic interactions. I really hate the term, "fake it till you make it". While it may work, it just doesn't work for me! Not because I can't do it but I don't want to do it! I don't want to ‘fool’ someone with an image that isn't my reality. So if someone can’t accept me for who I am then I just have to walk away from the situation. One thing that definitely gets on my nerves is when people say things just to say things. If you don’t actually like my dress, you don't have to compliment it and if you don't want to hang out you don't need to tell me you’ll call me when you won’t. And, yes, to all my lovely Arabs, we have a specific term for that “Mojamala."
5. I Share and Care: My motto is ‘sharing is caring’.
Connecting with people and leveling yourself with them, whether it is an artistic collaboration or just a day-to-day exchange, allows you to find equality with others and therefore love yourself better. It is all about giving back as much as you take and being kind to others. We are all out here trying to survive at this thing called life, so why don't we just all get along and help each other out? This earth was MADE for unity, oneness, and working together. Humbling yourself and noticing that we all share this world together allows you to want to be yourself and contribute something unique to the world.
6. I Am Thankful for God and My Blessings:
Life is short. Life is a one-time experience. So live it your OWN way. God/The Universe has created you to be a physically different human being for a reason: everyone has their own type of magic stardust that only their touch can bring to life. I can’t compare myself to others because its both physically impossible ( no one looks the same!) and because everyone has their own story that won’t ever match up exactly. I know that every person walks at their own pace and every person has their own time. Competing and trying to catch up to people who are at a different level won’t get me anywhere ( but stressed, envious and angry ). God created me at HIS own pace and so I move at my own. I am thankful for the person God made me to be and I feel blessed with what I have. Bad and Good, because each thing has made me who I am. I will continue to grow. I will continue to move forward. I will surround myself with people who are doing the same and cheer them on. Each person is as amazing and wonderful as the next. I will love others because I have loved myself.