First let me explain what I mean when I say ‘how to be’. I mean, do you know who you are when you stop listening to the world tell you who you should be? Do you know what your favorite coffee order is in a world filled with Starbucks? Have you accepted the fact that you will never be a ‘Kardashian’? If someone asked you to talk about yourself for 60 seconds, what would it sound like? Would it be a life filled with independence and adventure? Or have you been living your whole life trying to please the people around you? When I say ‘how to be’, I actually mean, Are you your own person?
And I get it. It is hard to be our own person. We are surrounded by so many outlets, every single day, bullying us into believing that we are not good enough. Think about it: we are at a point in history where you can post a video on the internet and it can go viral in a matter of a few days. That is so powerful, but what I mean by that, is that we live in a time where so much information, and media is being spread around the world, that it is hard to avoid all the things telling us who to be. Of course, we are influenced by what we see. It is human nature, and for anyone to say that they have never compared themselves to someone else would be ignorant. With that said, it’s impossible not to look at “what’s trending” and wonder if it is everything that the media is making it out to be. I am guilty of it. We live in such a fast-paced world, that sometimes it is easy to follow the #crowd, even when you don’t necessarily want to. I am by no means stating that you should do this. I am simply just saying that this is the easier route to take. What I am hoping to do with this post, is challenge you to go the extra mile, and make more, if not all, of your decisions for yourself. Try new things, read interesting articles, and never be afraid of saying ‘YES’ to the unknown, because this is how we figure out who we are in a world that is telling us how to be.
So, how do we do it? How do we ignore all the temptations convincing us to be someone else?
We don’t. We embrace them.
The best way for me to combat my doubt that will occasionally set in, is reminding myself why I started loving who I am in the first place. 95% of the life I have lived thus far has been so focused on pleasing everyone in my life, including strangers I would never see again. It was easier for me to put this ‘perfect’ mask on and pretend that I didn’t suffer from anything. That pain was just a word to describe the weak, and that was not me…right? Wrong. The defense mechanism I had learned to swear by was the one thing holding me back the most. It was also the foundation I had built my life on. When you put so much pressure on the opinions of others to drive you through life, your world is bound to fall apart over time. It is 100% unattainable to cater to all of the needs of every person, or every opinion thrown your way. There will come a point where you are going to throw your arms in the air, and scream, “I can’t do it anymore!”
And you shouldn’t.
Some would consider this a breaking point. I would consider it a break through.
And for those of you that are reading this that have not had their “break through” yet…DON’T WAIT FOR ONE! You shouldn’t have to reach a low to want the best for yourself. That should be started willingly, and as soon as possible. I know it might sound cliché, but LET GO of what you cannot change, and start changing into the person that you were meant to become. Here is the catch: this will require work every single day of the rest of your life, and you know what? That is kind of awesome. Think about it, each day you get to make yourself a little better, a little happier, and whole lot more of YOU. There are going to be days where you feel weak, and there are still going to be days where you just want to avoid everyone, but I believe that this is just life. It’s hard to be a human. There is so much going on around us, and then on top of that, there is so much going on inside of us. It can be hard to deal with sometimes, but we do; and you can.
Although I do not like to refer to what I say as advice, instead I like to just give you my perspective on what has worked for me. I look myself in the mirror and I smile at what I see. I remind myself of what I have endured thus far, what I have survived, and what I have learned through all of it; the pain, the happy, the lows, and the highs. I tell myself that I am enough, and that I am not meant for everyone, but I am doing my best to become the person I want to meet. The reality is that societal standards for what is beautiful is not going to go away, but I say to that, be beautiful anyways. Define who you are by your own standards, and ultimately, just be who you were supposed to be. Be honest about what makes you, YOU, and understand that to learn HOW TO BE, you must be willing to be WHO YOU ARE.
Thank you for reading. I love you.