“Hate me for who I am; I don’t care. At least I’m not pretending to be someone I am not.”
I have long learned not to live to please everyone I meet. I have passed the times where I did everything I did for the sake of recognition and approval from others. There were times I did certain things just to be accepted, wore certain clothes just to belong to some group, and bought certain stuff just to meet others’ standard. Because—admit it or not—social acceptance is an important thing at certain (mental) age, since it’s one of the stages in finding/defining ourselves. We need to be accepted, we need to feel that we belong with our surrounding society.
We did things we didn’t want to do and we didn’t do things we wanted to do—we were trying to change just so we could be what they called ‘normal’. I am not against change—I always encourage people not to be afraid of change, as long as the change makes us a better person, without losing our true identity and turning ourselves into someone we are not.
We are afraid to be different and to stand out because then people will talk and judge and urge us to ‘fit in’. The truth is, people will always talk and gossip around because it’s the job of the small minds to always discuss people, so why even bother? They will talk about us for days and months and then they will forget and move on to another target, but if we let them get under our skin, the damage will last longer than the gossips.
We fear that people will talk behind our back and laugh at us—perhaps they may even pity us for ‘not following the standard’. Let them. Do not seek acceptance or recognition or approval from superficial people. If it doesn’t make us happy or if it doesn’t turn us into a better person, it’s not worth it. People always want us to do everything they want us to do, to think what they want us to think, and to be who they want us to be, but if ‘normal’ means to live only to meet others’ standard and not to fight for our own principles and values, I’d rather be abnormal. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to be different.
A lot of people think that fitting in is the key to happiness, just like some people think that marriage is a default stage for every romantic relationship in which the story ends happily. It is not. For the 25 years of my life, I have made plenty of mistakes that teach me a lot of lessons. I used to be afraid not to be accepted by others, and there were times I was willing to do anything just to keep certain people stay. I was afraid of being myself, and it’s not worth it. When you change yourself to be someone who you’re not, someone your mind and heart are uncomfortable to be, there will be no happiness and no inner peace. We have to understand that it is okay to lose some people in our life, because people who are truly worth it will never force us to be somebody they selfishly want us to be—they will only want us to change to be a better person for the sake of ourselves; unfortunately sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
I have learned a lot, and I have passed those hard times. Now I will not do something I don’t want to do just to make (unimportant) people happy. I will not buy things or wear clothes just so (unimportant) people think I’m cool and not out-of-fashion. I will not say nice things to sugarcoat the truth just so (unimportant) people don’t call me rude. I will not join the gossip group in fear of being called a hypo. I will not marry at 25 just because some (unimportant) people said “It’s time already.” I will not live by principles which are not my own, and I do not care about people who are unimportant in my life. I guess I’m old enough to stand by my own standards and values.
I will not dress to impress people I could not care less.
I will only care about people I think as important—that are family and friends. I listen to their opinion and I take them into consideration whenever I’m about to make big decisions in my life; those are the people I want to make happy and proud of me. I choose my friends wisely and I keep my social circle small and tight, because by surrounding ourselves with positive people, we will be happier and more positive in life as well.
In the end, it is nice to finally see that I have walked through my journey until this time—I have reached a point where I finally found myself and I am happy with who I am. I have no regrets not because I have made no mistakes, but because I have made peace with my past and I have lived by my own sets of values. I am responsible for everything I have done and for every decision I have made, because I am the best friend of my own self and best friends always stay no matter what.
“When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”
—Diane Von Furstenberg