I believe in being true to myself. It is important to me not to fall victim to fads that I am not comfortable with or to succumb to peer pressure. This has not always been an easy way to live and has caused much distress in my life. Being true to oneself does not come without judgment from others. Although there have been periods when I wanted to conform, I have found that I always feel better about myself when I stand my ground—believe in who I am.
One example of being true to myself is never being “fake.” I do not have different opinions depending on who I am around. Being quirky is fun—not always thinking along the same lines as everyone else. An example of a controversial topic that I do not waver on is that I believe in waiting to be married before living with your partner. I exhibit this in my own life and feel very passionate about it—in this fast-paced world, it is the one thing that people should wait for. I believe in recycling, caring about others, and really listening to them; and in simple things that make me happy, such as listening to music or reading. More often than not, I would rather stay home than go out, and I have found that I endure less pain doing things that make me happy than trying to please others.
My life could be a bit smoother by agreeing with people when my opinion differs to avoid conflict; but what if everyone did that—the world would never change. It is important for people to know the “real” me, and so I never stay quiet to simply “keep peace.” This may often cause turmoil, but it is always worth it in the end to be strong and share my perspective. I am honest—not saying how I really feel does not accomplish anything. In fact, it can cause trouble; people may think you are comfortable with something you are not—then at what point do you tell them the truth? It would have been easier to just be yourself from the start. If you cannot be yourself around someone, then it probably is just not a friendship to be pursued—and that is okay. I simply surround myself with people who accept me for me—no matter how big or small a group of people that may be.
Living life being true to myself makes me happy and that is what is important. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.