On Being Yourself
I remember a time when I was very young, school years of being ever shy and ever fearful. There was this group of students in my high school, the students that made up all of the top 15 or so GPA’s in my grade, we called them “ the robots” less-than-affectionately. They were the popular kids, that’s how it worked in my highschool.
I had never felt a sense of belonging with them, even though I was in many of the same classes as they were. See, whenever they would talk to me or interact with me, I would freeze up. “Omg, why would they be talking to me? Don’t they know I’m not in their group?” I would largely be silent, one word answers, not speaking as myself, not really.
But there were so many things I WANTED to say, so many jokes I wanted to make, perspectives I wanted to share, opinions I wanted to express. I didn’t.
I was invited to a party, after 2 years of this. I messaged one of them who had invited me “Are you sure you want me to come?” I was totally taken aback by the idea that I could be welcomed into this group.
All of these moments that would slip through my fingers, moments that I would want to say something, to speak up for myself. I didn’t think that I had any right to, like I deserved to share my own perspective.
I’ve discovered now that Western education is built to achieve this effect in us. It’s a truly terrible thing that still affects us years after we’ve escaped the system.
Let’s define what this is.
This is a fear of being authentically oneself. A fear of being open and vulnerable.
Are there real and present risks involved in being yourself? Maybe if you’re being interrogated by the mob. But otherwise, is there really? Will you be happier if you choose to be more of yourself in the world? My answer is yes. What’s yours?
Let’s consider the fact that the entire Western education system is built to create obedient workers that exist to function as an assembly line. It was built to MAKE them tolerant of that environment. It was not created to produce artists or free-thinkers or dreamers.
I’ve let my inner voice and inner self stay silent for too many decades now. I think the willingness to speak one’s mind truthfully and pridefully is often the most courageous a person can be. It is nothing to be safe. Safety in this context is an unfulfilled life. Who has lived a life worth living by keeping themselves TO themselves?
Don’t you want to see your friends or your partner truly themselves? That they could let their beautiful and radiant selves out to shine on everyone around them?
I see this is as incredibly virtuous and a part of why we’re on this world, to become more ourselves and to be wholly us.
What stops us is fear, isn’t it? A fear that we won’t be accepted or appreciated or valued, shamed, cast down, criticized.
The bad news is this will happen to us, at some point. If you are willing to put yourself out there, then unavoidably there will be those who disapprove.
These people don’t matter.
It matters that you are unafraid to be you.
Let’s make a deal. I’m writing this on the 30th of January 2020. Every time I can, I will opt to choose the courageous path rather than the silent one until my next post on here. I vow to do this until my next post. 24 hours from now specifically. 5:02 pm tomorrow.
Do you agree? Good.
Let me know how it goes :)