There is no one like you. When I was younger, these were the words my mother would say to encourage me in my uniqueness. “You are perfect,” she would say, “Just the way you are.” I understand, now, that I was far from perfect (and still am). But I know what she was trying to say. Life isn’t about trying to emulate the people and things you see around you. It isn’t about attempting to fit into a box or a role you’re told to play. Life is about learning what makes you, you and wildly pursuing that. It’s about learning who you are and becoming the best you that you possibly can.
I fall into comparison so much. I see people around me and I gauge myself and my success by where they’re at. I constantly self-judge, putting myself down when I haven’t reached where someone else is, or when my life looks different than theirs.
I’ve always cared what people think, sometimes to my detriment. I worry about being too much, not being enough, letting those I love down (or even people I don’t know). I often think about the way I might be perceived in certain situations, or how something I say or do might come off. And I let all this (often self-caused) pressure effect how I live my daily life.
This is a (silly) but real struggle I face every single day: The challenge of pushing away the norms and expectations and listening to my heart’s truth. The learning, and re-learning who I am and fighting to be me rather than worrying about everyone else.
At the core of our humanity is the desire to understand where we fit. And I don’t just mean in terms of friendships or social classes, but our purpose.—the reason why we’re here. There’s such a desire to understand, to know, to ‘figure out’ what the meaning of life is and what role we’re supposed to play in it.
I think one of the biggest transformational journeys we can embark on is the journey of our own soul—finding what gets us excited, what makes our spirit sing, what we feel passionate about, and what we’re naturally strong at.
These things resonate within us, and not anyone else. They become a core part of our identity, a part that is unique to us and no one else. This journey—and the lessons we learn from it—are the most important. When we start to discover who we are, we must get excited! And continually find ways to grow deeper into that version of ourselves.
At the end of the day, it’s not about where we measure up in terms of other people our age, sex, race, or social status. It’s not about fitting ourselves into the roles we’re expected to play: mother, daughter, brother, son, friend, husband, wife, child, student, etc. We are meant to be different. We are meant to have quirks and flaws, thoughts and perspectives, ideas and passions that set us apart.
So, the hardest, yet most rewarding thing you must do in this life is to be the best you that you can—loud, soft, brave, tender, emotional, passionate, strong, wild—but most importantly, YOU.
Featured Image Credit: Jacob Mejicanos