I Believe In Being Me
I believe that we all try too hard to be someone we are not.
This desire to fit in and be socially accepted is most common among teenagers and young adults who are constantly trying to stay on top of the latest fashion, music, films, etc. Falling behind would mean sitting alone at the lunch tables and overall social retardation. This fear propels us to seek cliques, or exclusive groups with which we can socialize and identify.
These groups are very structured with volumes of unwritten rules one must follow for continuing involvement. One can drive themselves crazy trying to fully understand the complicated clique rules. I believe that categorizing individuals in groups has pressured humans to feel the need to ‘fit’ into a category, changing their natural personality and characteristics to land in the middle of a predetermined ‘category mould’. The moment we change our natural selves to fit in better with a certain group, we are no longer ourselves, eliminating this wonderful god-given individuality responsible for our progression and creativity as a human race.
I’ve felt this so many times before. I can walk into a concert and feel that I am not “punk” enough to be there. They look at me like I’m not wearing enough black, or that there’s no way someone who dresses or wears their hair like me could possibly listen to punk music. At the skate park, it often feels like a fashion contest as opposed to a spot for all present to develop their talents and abilities on a skateboard. It was the worst during high school where I was judged on whom I hung out with, and how new and expensive my car and clothes were. This constant criticism launches thousands of youth into depression every year for feeling that they never possess enough, or worse, are never good enough.
It is sad to me that we constantly oppress the wonderful, free, creative, unique individual inside of us all to be who someone else thinks we should be. So let it out! Be yourself! Be who you want to be for the right reasons! Do what you want to do for the right reasons! We were all made beautiful and different. Let’s love, embrace, and most of all, accept the differences we all possess.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.