Ever wonder what it would be like to be yourself all of the time?
I have a theory: that there are two of all of us – one which acts on impulses, speaks her mind, laughs and cries when the feelings strike, ignores people who annoy her, doesn’t go to events she’s not interested in, wears pants with drawstrings, is able to honestly express her political and religious beliefs, texts her husband when she’s afraid of the car idling outside their house. That is yourself.
Then there is the you people expect you to be. The one who works at a job she doesn’t like just for the paycheck because she needs to be responsible. The one who wears clothes that don’t look good on her because they are trends so she fits in, rather than stands out. The one who agrees with people but doesn’t really agree. The one who doesn’t text her husband that she’s scared lest his friends think she’s psychotic. That is the alternate you: the one you feel you have to be outside of your own home – outside of your comfort zone. The person people have pushed you to become.
I see myself slipping further and further into myself with each passing year. I am realizing who I am and who I am not. I do not define myself by what people tell me anymore: I’m learning who I am for myself. I don’t believe in a religion because I went to that type of church during childhood. I’ll figure that out on my own. You also won’t find me reading Twilight or wearing a Livestrong bracelet. I already know those aren’t for me.
I have a long way to go – but I’m getting there, little by little. When asked, I will tell people my plans for Friday night are to put together a puzzle and watch “Shark Tank” and I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t feel the need to have grandiose weekend plans just because I’m under the age of 30 and older people expect me to still party. I am learning to be myself, regardless of what that makes people think of me.
Maybe I just stopped caring. Maybe I’m giving up on outward appearances. Call me lazy and preach to me about social norms all you want, but you’ll find I’m not listening. It’s taken 28 years so far, and I’m sure a few more to go, but it feels good to finally become me. Being anyone else is just exhausting.