22nd August 2015, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper
For most of my life I wanted to fit in. I tried to be like other people and be liked by other people. I played things safe and went along with the crowd. I made a fool of myself trying to impress people. I pretended to be someone else and lived up to expectations.
I thought it was my job in life to please people. But I’ve learnt that I have permission not to please everyone. I have permission to be myself. By being myself, I won’t please everyone, but that’s okay because there are people who need what only I can give.
I’m learning to be okay with the fact that not everyone will like me, not everyone will understand me, and not everyone will accept me. I’m learning that I should be myself anyway because I was made to be me. I had the thought that if God wanted us to be same, he would have made us the same. But he created us with differences, so there is a reason for them and I should embrace my differences.
I’ve often thought that my life, perspectives, and values don’t always look like other people’s. It makes me doubt myself and wonder if I need to conform. But I’m learning it’s when I stay true to myself that it speaks to people.
One of my beliefs is that, ethically, many of us in Western countries should give more money away to those who need it more. It baffles me that we don’t give more. It seems illogical, but for years I conformed to the Western way and spent all my money on me. Then I decided I needed to be true to myself and line up my actions with my belief. I started by donating at least $50 to a different charity, cause, or person. It’s not as much as I could give, but it’s a place to start and it’s better than nothing.
I shared a blog post about this, and a fellow blogger wrote her own post about how I inspired her to give away $50. Wow! She described what I did as unconventional. It shocked me because I’ve never been described as unconventional and it was never a word I wanted to be associated with. But it told me that just by being me and doing what I believe in makes an impact. Not everyone will get it, but it will resonate with someone.
This made me embrace being unconventional, which I define as simply being true to yourself. So I’m going to be a blue tree instead of trying to be green like all the other trees in the forest. And I’m going to love being blue. Not everyone will like my blueness, but there will be some who do and they’ll thank me for being blue.