Why Staying True To Yourself Is Always The Right Choice
Ever since I can remember, I have been encouraged to be myself. Whether it came from my mom, a teacher, a movie or a book, it has been, by far, the most recurrent advice that I have received in life. There are countless quotes about being yourself, and I am quite certain that I am not alone. I think a lot of us have heard this several times, in various ways. However, how many of us can truly say that we are being our authentic selves, which encompasses staying true to who we are, the things we like, and what makes us happy?
What I have learned over the years is that people, who choose to go against the grain or take the not so popular route to doing things, frequently catch a lot of flak. I saw a meme the other day that made me smile. It said, “First they laugh, then they copy.” It resonated with me so much because it brought me back to times when I was criticized for simply doing me, and what I wanted to do.
Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane, back to my senior year of high school. It was toward the end of the year, and I always had a love for clear high heels, known as Lucite heels. At that time, they weren’t “in style,” and the type I wanted were so hard to find. The only ones that were readily available for purchase were the kind that female bodybuilders wore for competition, and the ones strippers are seen in sliding down the pole. No ma’am. No sir. Those were not going to work.
I recruited my mom in my quest to find my Lucite heels, and after months of searching, we found two pairs. The first was a cute, strappy stiletto, and the other was a Lucite wedge sandal. I loved those shoes and wore them from the end of that year through the end of my college years. A couple of people told me that they were soulful, granny-ish, and that “nobody wears that.” Whose granny is wearing 5” heels? And soulful? That’s debatable. Needless to say, I didn’t care what they thought and stomped proudly in my beloved clear heels. Fast-forward to today, and you can see everybody and their mama (including the naysayers) trying to wear a pair.
The moral of the story is to do and be you, even if it doesn’t meet the expectations of or satisfy popular opinion. Being unapologetically different and unique regardless of what others think not only displays your confidence, but also signals that your self-esteem is in tact. I want to encourage you to use your own mind and express your individuality. Worry not about people who can’t think and decide for themselves, and have to rely on the vast majority, the infamous “they,” or a well-known celebrity to tell them what’s cool, cute, or poppin’. Just remember, “it takes nothing to join the crowd, it takes everything to stand alone.”- Hans Hansen