This I Believe

Cathy - Dayton, Ohio
Entered on November 22, 2006

Being True to Self

I believe in the power of being true to myself. Most of my life has been spent doing what I thought others expected of me. It wasn’t until I realized that I was much happier doing what was right for me that I felt fulfilled. Whether it was just sitting on the dock of the bay mesmerized by the ocean and reading a book, taking a couple hours off work to see an Independent film or jumping on a plane to a foreign country and not speaking a word of their language…I knew I was happy.

I went to Merida Mexico and watched people being true to themselves, taking siestas, having festivals at night, laughing and talking with one another expressing genuine kindness, in essence being true to themselves. I saw true Mayans with very little, or very little by American standards with smiles that would light up a room. Watching them I thought, “now they have the secret to life,” it’s not about how much you have or what your job title is, if you are not comfortable in your own skin none of that matters.

I think we spend so much of our time being something that we are not that we waste so much of our lives not ever being truly happy. Now, being true to myself has sometimes created problems for me with others. I now will say “no” if I don’t want to do something or I can say, “I need my space if I feel too crowded.” I’m more open about what I believe in and will make my voice heard. But I do all this without hurting other people or at least I don’t strive to hurt others. I often wonder what is it that prevents most of us from being who we really are deep down and who were the people who decided what was right and good for a person…were they being true to themselves? For me when it’s all said and done and I finally close my eyes for good I want people to be able to say, “at least she was happy and true to herself.”