I told you about how I was sitting by the pool earlier this week, right? No, I definitely told you. You guys needa learn to listen when someone is talking to you, it's polite.
I was talking about how I was watching people walk around and how the pool boosted my self esteem because no one looks amazing in a swimming suit, and so it was just fine that I didn't either. I had an epiphany that day, sitting next to the pool.
As a kid, as a teenager, and as a young adult, I was always told to be myself, because there's only one me, and it's the best me I could be. I had a friend in high school write a speech about NOT being yourself, about being someone you wanted to be, and if you weren't who you wanted to be, if being yourself didn't make you happy, then be someone that made you happy.
I interpreted that to mean something different than intended, I think. So-and-so made me happy! So maybe I should be them. And thus started a cycle of watching other people intently and changing myself to be them, taking their style of dress, walk, and talk, and doing my very best to become that person. A better version of that person, at that.
It rarely ended in happiness, in fact, it never ended in happiness. I always ended up a half baked version of the other person, and no one ever feels happy half baked.
It was at the pool this week that I realized what the speech was saying. It wasn't saying to become a different person. It was become a version of you that you like.
I've spent so long changing my hair to what I have observed other people to view as beautiful. Even if I didn't like it, I'd do it. I'd read fashion blogs and stress about how to make my wardrobe look like theirs, and where was I going to get the money to do that, and no way would I feel comfortable in those shoes but they were so cute and fashionable and I wanted to be that.
The worst one was weight, I liked the look of the bean poles, and I wanted to do that too, which lead to harmful habits.
At the pool, I was watching these people walk around and I looked at myself and realized that I liked myself. I liked my hair, it's soft and fun to play with. Sometimes it looks crazy, but that's ok, because my face was still under it. And sometimes my face would break out into a war zone, but that's ok too because it's my own. I like the clothes I wear because they're comfortable and I think they look nice on me. And honestly, I don't think people care that much about what I wear. And I like the weight that I am because I can be active in this body, and this body is a comfortable shape for me.
At the pool, I was watching these people walk around and I looked at myself and realized that maybe I wasn't the most beautiful woman at the pool, but I felt good in my own skin that day.
I almost wore a skirt casually this week. I usually don't (read: never) wear skirts casually, because it's not "my style" and doesn't fit "my personality". This week I thought "To crap with that! My style does not define my personality and who the crap is my style anyways? Why do they think they can decide what I want to wear?"
In the end I didn't wear a skirt because I thought it might be weird to bike in one, especially since it was a maxi skirt, but next week I'm gonna do it anyways. Maybe even tomorrow.
I woke up one Winter morning to find Joseph outside shoveling my sidewalk. I made him breakfast, and when he came inside and sat down, I thanked him and asked him why he shoveled my sidewalks! It was so kind of him, but there were other people who were sure to do it, if not, I'd do it. He said when he serves someone or takes care of someone, it makes him love them more. I tried this out, and it was the same for me, my love for others grew when I served them and took care of them. The same went for my body. I grew to love it more when I took care of it.
There really is only one you. It's so remarkable that you have a body! The number of seeming miracles that need to happen for you to be here are innumerable. Too much time is spent not being the best version of yourself, rather being the best version of other people. It's a shame how much lack of originality there is these days, but it happens. I really could care less whether the entire world wore grey jumpsuits every day, as long as they were wearing them because THEY personally liked them the best and THEY personally felt their very best in it.
So I guess what I'm saying is that the whole phrase "Be yourself, because it's the best person you could be" finally rings true. Don't let your life become a fatality by suppressing it until it fits into what the world would have you be. Let your life scream out from the mountain tops, happy that it is there, happy to be free. Be you.
To be cliche...