Funny, many of us think we know “who we are”. But our parents, teachers, coaches, friends, and especially society/media sometimes make that fact hazy. Our parents teach and guide us to believe a certain way, usually based of course on their beliefs or culture. Our teachers give us more knowledge and education more generically in order for us to make our own choices. Our friends can sometimes really screw with our”selves”, peer pressure to be a certain way, pop culture, and trends, all can really blur who we really are. Are we doing something because we feel we need to? Do we behave a certain way because we are simply shadowing someone else and are not taking the time to think for ourselves? Being liked, or simply the fear of being different is often what stops us from being ourselves, or worse…roadblocking us from even taking the time to know who ourselves are! Now obviously “who we are” does very much come from all our experiences, all we read, who we know and what we learn. Social Media, commercials, celebrities, politicians, and yes family and friends try very hard to influence who we are and often short term excitement in something often has us adopting a similar view or belief. But I have learned a lot through my 51 years and especially in the last 3, that for me, it’s not just what excites me short term. It’s about what ignites me! What ignites a desire to learn more, to do more. It’s not a temporary “high” but a lasting energy because it is who you really are. It is in your core, you believe it, you want to look it, live it, and it lasts because it is really Who you are! And for me it has never been about being “normal” or safe. I’ll admit, you can easily get caught up in what the “world” feels is normal because many of us obviously want to have friends, get married, have a good job and unfortunately temporarily being normal is something you sometimes have to do. But every time I have done it…I have regretted it, or said to myself, “if someone really wants to get to know me as a friend, a partner or an employee then they have to know the real me, or I don’t want them in my life”
There is nothing more fulfilling and freeing then being at an age or time in your life where all that matters is that you are happy and content with your choices and beliefs. It takes courage to not be afraid to be yourself, shine your light! If people are going to judge or criticize…who cares! Do you want those people in your life? Ask yourself, where does that criticism come from? Jealousy, intimidation, narrow mindedness? Most of the time, those people do not have the GUTS or intellect to make their own choices and live by them. I feel sorry for those folk. They are missing out…and maybe so are we, in maybe knowing someone pretty awesome!
Now we all falter a bit here and there, or just like anything, you almost have to research till you find that “ignition”. Now for me, I love fashion…and tended to follow much of it in terms of classic, urban wear with a bit of funk. ( I used to be an 80s punker, I will never lose that!) I found myself in cardigan sweaters, printed blouses, pencil skirts and Fluevog pumps. Nothing wrong with that, I know I looked good but I started seeing that I did not really stand out that much and was becoming closer to normal then I wanted. Now I still LOVE fashion, (especially Alexander McQueen,Chanel and Dolce and Gabbana) but I missed the person I was in the 80s. Seriously!! That was the best time, fashion took creativity and innovation, you did not look like a catalogue or magazine spread. It was the best decade to be unique! And I loved it! No, I am not going back to shoulder pads, neon colors and big hair! (actually, I still love me some hairspray!) It’s more about just getting back to being Genuine! Unique, an individual, exclusive, rare! Love all these terms! What are some of the opposite terms found in a thesaurus? Ordinary, common, regular…normal! Ugh! No thanks! I am lucky, my friends and family love me the way I am and I surround myself with people who are also rare and genuine. I feel alive around them and we are never bored! We all remember who we are and we respect that! Recently I watched a great documentary called Iris about the most amazing woman, Iris Apfel, fashion icon and business woman. I highly recommend it, what a fascinating woman, someone who never listened to what the “world” said and continues to lead a vibrant, marvellous life. No regrets….that will be me..is me! Never forget who you are!