One thing that I pride myself on and that I absolutely LOVE finding in other people is this:
The fact that I try my hardest to be myself is one of the things I love most about “me.” Do I try out new things because someone suggests it? Absolutely! Will I try to style my hair differently if I see a picture that I like? Sure! Did I get my idea for 30 Before 30 from someone else? I definitely did! But the things on the list are all ideas of my own. They’re all things that I, personally, want to do for many different reasons. What I DON’T do is try to be someone else. I DON’T cut my hair a certain way because someone else did. I DON’T try to take on attributes of others. I DON’T try to compete with others in life, and I definitely don’t put on a front on social media (or otherwise) to make people think I am someone I’m not.
Transparency and originality is something that seems to be fading into a lost art. An interesting, fun, and genuine way to get to know others and to form REAL relationships with them is to be yourself. Don’t try to impress someone by being what you’re not. Be the real you. There is nothing more awesome than allowing yourself to be really known. To be 100% yourself and to have others love you for it.
The best thing about my 4 best friends are that they are unapologetically themselves. Each one of them, while very much alike, are very different. The reason that we get along well with each other is because our friendships are based on honesty. From the beginning of our friendships, Deidre, Linsey, Laura, and Lena have always been ourselves. Maybe we held back a bit at first, but we were never trying to be someone we weren’t. Many times I have found myself holding back around a new person or group of people because I feel that they might not like “me.” (More often than that, though, I hold back, not because I want to, but because I fight quite often and intensely with anxiety.) Holding back and pretending, though, are two completely different things.
When you pretend to be someone or something you’re not you end up miserable. Chances are, you’re making others miserable, too. Not only this, but if you base relationships (this includes friendships) on the basis of something that isn’t true, you run the risk of really hurting people. You break the trust they have given you. You essentially betray them. Hurting yourself is another blow-back from trying to be what you’re not. This act that is being put on can end up causing you to struggle with yourself and doubt yourself. It is extremely unhealthy to allow yourself to continue with these facades.
The beautiful thing about life is that we can REALLY be whoever we want to be. (You cannot ever truly become someone else, though, no matter how hard you try.) God made each of us for a specific reason. He made us all different, with different features, thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc. for a reason. What would be the point of having everything the same or having everything “perfect.” Your best option is to accept “you” and be “you.”
(Originally posted on my old blog on August 5, 2016)