The only person I know how to be is myself. The only person I should be is myself.
It sounds so simple, natural and easy, and for many it is. They are who they are and don’t give too much of a thought about it. However, for others like me, it wasn’t just as easy as braving the world bearing all. This was something that I had to learn, the hard way.
Having moved countries a year ago, before we left I decided I would try and to be someone else when I arrived. Not necessary a complete personality transplant but a more docile version of myself, someone quieter, a bit less scatty or at least just scale back the crazy a bit.
However, being something you are not is like walking around in a dress that is two sizes too small; uncomfortable, awkward and just horrible to look at. Eventually the only thing that happens is that the seams rip apart and you are left exposing your own naked self to the world.
During this “time”, I went to a social event where earlier in the day, I had told myself I would stay quiet and observe… That message did not quite make to my brain… or rather my lips, as within five minutes of walking through the door my mouth was motoring away louder than a V8. It would have been fine if I was actually thinking before I spoke but as often is the case with me, I wasn’t. I spent most of the night with both feet in my mouth.
The harder I tried to be something I wasn’t, the more that the parts of me I was trying to suppress came out with a vengeance. Instead of being quiet, I rambled on more than a 90 year old grandma. Instead of scatty, some of the time my head was so far in the clouds I could give you the weather forecast for the next week.
Until, one day I stopped. I looked at the friends surrounding me (despite my quirks) and learnt that I didn’t need to be anyone else nor did I want to be. In trying to be someone else, I had realised that I actually like who I am (or most parts) and other people do too.
A year later, I wondered why I spent so much time and energy to deny who I am in the first place. Until I worked out it had taken learning and accepting who I was for me to find the confidence to be who I am.
Although we live with ourselves day in and day out, we think we know ourselves best. But over time we change and sometimes we need to relearn who we are. I am not the same person I was 10 years ago and I don’t have the same confidence now that I did back then either. At different stages throughout our lives both our confidence and our realisation of who we are peak and drop depending on what stage we are at.
Getting to know ourselves can be the easy part. The acceptance of who are and having the confidence to be our true selves takes a bit more practice.