For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt different than my peers – even weird. No matter how hard I tried, I was just not super interested in things my peers were, and I always felt like such a misfit. Now, I don’t want to this to come off in an angsty teen way like Jughead’s monologue in Riverdale, but he has a point.
I am weird. I’d rather spend a Saturday night in – alone – just writing, baking some cookies, cleaning, or reading. Or watching a movie or my favorite TV show! I’m vegan, something that most people view as super weird. I use natural deodorant, a menstrual cup, metal straws, and do my very best to buy vegan shoes and products. I don’t wear makeup, except once in a blue moon when I’ll put on mascara. I compost. I sometimes go long amounts of time without shaving my legs or armpits. (I realize, yes, I’m making myself sound like such a hippie. Just go with it.) Heck, I cook a majority of meals for myself and actually make an effort to eat a salad every single day! I like to go to sleep early and waking up early. I’m interested in spirituality and self-growth, on expanding my consciousness. Compared to many of my peers, I’m super weird since I’m not out drinking multiple times a week and not living solely off Pizza Rolls or chicken nuggets.
With all this said, I don’t think the way I choose to live my life is any better than anyone else’s choices. I really don’t, and I don’t want what I said in my last paragraph to come off that way. How anyone else chooses to live their life is completely in their hands, and I have absolutely been at points in my life where I have made choices that even the present Rachel wouldn’t agree with. It’s all a part of life, and I believe everyone is on their own journey. We are all growing, changing, and just trying to figure out who we are. And, as long as someone isn’t hurting others with their life choices, they can do whatever makes them happiest. That’s the beauty of it, too, because everyone has a different measure of happiness. What makes me happy doesn’t necessarily make someone else happy, and vice versa.
The reason I wanted to talk about this, though, is because I think that a lot of people are really afraid to be themselves. They’re afraid to be different or to stand out, afraid to show the world their true selves. Because, deep down, we’re all “weird” (I mean, what even is “normal”?). We are all unique individuals with our own thoughts and beliefs, but some of us stuff that down and conform to society’s standards more than others.
In my eyes, being authentic means being true to yourself. It means learning about yourself, knowing yourself, and aligning your day-to-day actions with those inner beliefs about who you are. It means not being afraid to simply be yourself, despite what other people think.
I’m sure that there are plenty of people who see what I post, or what I write about and think to themselves “Rachel is so f*cking weird”. I mean, in high school when I’d bring my own lunches, people would always mock my food because it was “weird”.
But you know what? None of that affects me. I mean, sure, I do feel some pressure to fit in, but I think for the most part I have just accepted that my beliefs and the way I choose to live my life will always be labeled as “weird”, and that’s okay. In fact, I LIKE being weird. I remember, too, that some of my closest friends once told me that they love who I’m never afraid to be who I really am. I speak my mind, do my own thing, and am just myself. I remember hearing that and just being so thrilled that they thought that about me. And to think that they admired that about me! It was truly so meaningful. So shoutout to them if they’re reading this! ❤️
Deep down, I think all of us want to so desperately be ourselves, to just share what we want to share and not be afraid to show our true colors. I am by no means perfect. I have lots of struggles that I deal with on a daily basis, and I am definitely not done learning who I truly am. I recently discovered the website Lavendaire, and the creator of the site Aileen has some awesome journal prompts for self discovery, as well as a whole blog devoted to personal growth. The prompts are incredible, and I may even create blog posts on here about ones that stand out or ones that really make me think.
Okay, so what is my point? The point is to learn to love who you are, and if you don’t – change. That is the beauty of life, we have the ability to change. I haven’t always loved who I am, and there are still parts of myself that need some work. I’ll never be “perfect”, and that’s okay, too. But more importantly – be yourself. I know that everyone always says that, but I think that it is becoming more and more valuable in this day and age to be true to yourself. Listen to your heart, do the things that fill you with joy and drop the rest. Don’t do things that drain your energy, and do more of what charges you up. Make time for self-discovery, self-grown, and self-care.
I have shared this quote many times on various blogs and accounts throughout the years, because it is so inspiring to me, but I want to share it again. It’s from Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement speech from 2005, a speech that has – time and time again – inspired me. I’ve probably listened to it so many times I could recite it word for word. Here is one of my favorite parts that is particularly salient to today’s discussion:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
— Steve Jobs
The world around us bombards us with messages every single day that tell us how to act, think, and behave. But these messages are not necessarily your truth. I know that a lot of them aren’t pertinent to the life I want to live, so I don’t listen.
One of the most beautiful parts about being human is our ability to question things.
So, I ask anyone who is reading this, to take a look at your life and ask yourself some questions.
- Am I the person I truly want to be? Do my actions align with my beliefs?
- Am I happy? What can I do to increase happiness?
- Am I taking care of myself?
- Who am I? What do I want in life?
These are just a few questions, of course. And this post is by no means an exhaustive guide about being yourself, or about authenticity. But, I hope these thoughts maybe sparked your interest and will encourage you be who you are! Be your true self, and try not to be too afraid of those who will judge you. People will always judge, but so long as you are not hurting anyone and are happy – you do you!
More posts on this topic will hopefully be coming in the future, as this is something I’m super interested in. So if you like this, give it a like or a share or a comment!
Stay hungry, Stay foolish,