“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”
― Rita Mae Brown
With effort, we can be anything, do anything, have anything, and take anything we want. Why should we pursue the work of becoming ourselves when there are so many other people we can pretend to be? The question is not quickly answered.
I remember when I was a little girl I wanted long hair. Women with long hair in the 90’s were seen as beautiful, and I believed hair length made them likable. I prayed for it, begged for it, and pleaded for it. This was back during a time extensions were not a thing for little girls. My mother did what she could to take care of my hair, but it still was not quite as long as I would have liked it to be. Around seventh grade, I carried around a black hair bow that had started to unravel. The split was caused because the metal centerpiece that held the bow together was no longer in place. The bow, now just a handful of small strings, was long and hair-like since the fraying worked its way up to the top.
I had an idea: this would be my hair. I tied the frayed bow to the end of my ponytail and secured it with a hair tie and bobby pins. I became a girl with long hair just like that.
The argument for why you should become yourself centers around you knowing and caring about what you want and who you really are. Life is harder pretending to be someone else. You never quite excel at it, cracks show, you become overwhelmed trying to keep up the mask, holding your life together becomes unmanageable. However, you are afraid to give up the facade because if you do, you will be left with what is created out of your habits, choices, and missteps. The mask is keeping what's in, in and what is out, well, out.
The argument for becoming yourself is centered around the narrative of self or the story that is woven from your experiences and choices. It is essential to become yourself because in doing so you bring your whole self into the spaces you enter. If you are not complete, full and whole, then I argue that you show up and become someone else. You show up and leave your likes, dislikes, opinions, wit, and ideas at home.
You attach that frayed bow to your ponytail and pretend you have and are what you are not.
Thank You For Reading:
I am working on another book. Each week I will blog topics, inspiration, thoughts, concepts, and themes from my third title “The Bold Act of Becoming Yourself.” If an idea, concept, or comment comes to your mind — let me know in the comment section below. My goal is to release this work in 2019. #TheBoldSelf