You Are Going To Be A Bundle of Contradictions, And That’s Okay

Culture & Society, Learning To Love Yourself, Miscellaneous Musings, Re-framing Your Thinking

You'llBeABundleOfContradictions

“You’re too sensitive.”

“Don’t be so dramatic.”

“Just get over it.”

 

Sound familiar?

 

I think if we all were paid a dollar when someone said those things to us, we’d be filthy rich by now. Kids and adults can be cruel.

Okay. You might not think that those things are cruel, but even the smallest things can destroy your confidence, especially if you’re a hypersensitive person like me. I don’t care if you’re Jennifer Lawrence or your neighbor down the street. Everyone goes through those moments when their confidence is ground in the dirt.

And in those moments, it’s easy to look to the person you idolize. Yes, you know who I’m talking about. Those people whose Twitter accounts you stalk, whose magazine covers you buy the second they hit the newsstands. The ones you want to be.

Sure, they may look like they have everything, but that doesn’t make them immune to pain. Despite their “perfect” image (thank you very much every news outlet ever), the truth is that they’re far from perfect.

 

 

 

See? Case in point.

 

Social media has allowed us to filter our lives so much that it’s very easy to think that we are the only ones in the world who suck at life. We have become so gosh darn obsessed with the number of likes, tweets, and followers that we judge our value based on those superficial numbers.

 

You don’t have to be Taylor Swift, Emma Watson, or Selena Gomez to say something in today’s world that you’ll get flack for. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best singer in the world since sliced bread: Anything you do or say will be picked apart. You can’t please everyone. If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up becoming a doormat. And becoming a doormat is the easiest way to lose your sanity.

 

The only thing you can do is to try to please yourself. Just because you’re a little dramatic doesn’t mean that you have to put duct tape over your mouth every time you come across the person who called you a drama queen.

 

So what if you don’t think that One Direction is the best band to hit the radio waves since The Beatles? You don’t have to bend over backwards to memorize their names and listen to all their albums in one day just because you want to appease your friends who happen to spend their hard-earned money on concert tickets. You don’t have to justify your decisions or tastes to anyone.

 

You’re still young. We will always be students of life. You can believe multiple things. Your tastes will change and grow with you. You can be a drama queen and still be a mellow, relaxed person. You can like the Beatles, Patti Smith, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift & Demi Lovato all at the same time for different reasons, no matter what anyone tells you. You don’t need permission from anyone.

 

Finding what you like and what you believe is a process. Believing in yourself is not an easy, straightforward thing. You will always be a bundle of contradictions, there’s no way around it.

 

I’m going to try my hardest not to pull a Louise Hay on you, not because I have my doubts about the self-help industry, but because when you’re young, it’s really hard to believe that your flaws make you interesting, when all they seem to do is help you dig your own grave. Yes, your favorite celeb can help, but no matter how many times you listen to their songs on repeat, you’re the one who has to believe that your quirks make you who you are. And it can be really hard to turn Negative Nancy’s voice off.

But who else but you thinks the way you think, likes what you like, and does what you do? All of the stuff (good and bad) that you’ve been through has made you who you are. You might not be able to just shake it off (thank you, Taylor Swift for getting that song stuck in my head). You might let things change you, but that doesn’t mean that you’re any weaker than the next person. You can make the choice to use the obstacles and changes you go through as fuel. Or you can let them remain walls.

And we know what happens with walls.

 

motivation_brickwallscontradictions

 

Image Credit

 

It’s a lot better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are, anyway. I’ve tried being something I wasn’t; it was by far one of the most painful things I have ever done. It was a lot of lying. A lot of crying. A lot of pulling my hair out. A lot of filtering. A lot of hiding.

It took me more than ten years to realize this, but if you just put yourself out there, and KEEP doing it, the right audience will find you.

When you shed your mask, share your story, and be yourself no matter where you are in life, you encourage others to do the same. People will see their flaws in you and realize that it’s OKAY to be flawed, that you DO NOT have to have everything figured out, that you DO NOT have to hibernate like a bear waiting for spring. You can be a role model for others without going on American Idol or winning an Olympic medal. You can do that by living your life, quirks and all. Yes, you heard me. You may be someone else’s Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, or Emma Watson. You just might not know it yet.

I’m not saying for you to blast Shake it Off and let criticism roll off you like water; you can do that if that’s your thing, but I think there’s still a lot to be learned from criticism. The important thing is not to let it get to you, because your haters will ultimately make you better. They will help you grow.

Take in what you want to take in, improve what you can, and keep living your best life.

And for those who just don’t give you the time of day?

Shake ‘em off.

Screenshot Credit: YouTube

Advertisements

How To Be Okay With Being Different & Accept Yourself For Who You Are

Re-framing Your Thinking

Demi #reallydon'tcare

Watching the documentary Bridegroom made me cry because the documentary is a harrowing example of the power of love; it’s also proof of the fact that some people just don’t accept others for who they are.

 

Seriously. Watch it if you can.

 

I’m no expert on this stuff, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in this journey, it’s that you have to love and accept yourself before you can do that for someone else.

 

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but it’s worth noting that EVERYONE deserves acceptance. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, lesbian, bi-sexual….okay, I’ll stop before I go into rant mode.

 

Accepting yourself can be hard. Hard with a capital H. People may look like they have everything together, but the reality is they’re probably just as confused as you are.

 

Which is why accepting others for who they are is just as important.

 

There’s so much pressure in today’s society to look a certain way, think a certain way, do things a certain way. And if you don’t do it the way you’re “supposed to,” you stick out like a sore thumb.

 

Being different (with a capital D) is one of the hardest things to do, particularly when you’re in school. Don’t tell me you don’t have those middle school/high school horror stories.

 

I’m going to own up to it: I’m still working toward accepting myself for who I am. I’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s completely happy with who they are, someone who’s just stopped evolving.

 

And I doubt you’re that person. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

 

 

So what do you do in order to (start to) accept yourself?

 

 

Go With Your Gut (And Put Earplugs In If You Have To)

 

You’re going to be told what you want to do is just wrong sometimes. There are no ifs and buts about it. You can’t get everything right in your life.

 

Sometimes those reality checks are warranted. Like when you’re inches away from doing something drastic. Like making permanent decisions based on a temporary state of mind.

 

But severe issues aside, the truth is that you know yourself better than anyone else in the world. Yes, that list includes your best friend that you’ve known since you were 5 and your parents.

 

They may not understand why you do the things that you do; but the important thing is that you follow your inner compass.

 

Because sometimes the places you take yourself are better than where you thought you’d end up.

 

“I really regret going with my gut.”

 

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve NEVER heard anyone say that.

 

 

Look Back On Your Accomplishments

 

Or if you can’t think of any, write out a list of the awesome things you’ve done/ are doing.

 

My friend (read: second career coach) made me write out a list of all the cool things I had done in my life. And even though I filed it away in the depths of my laptop, I pull it out every now and again when I need a reminder.

 

Because everyone needs a reminder of how awesome they are.

 

This is not to say that I stare at this list for hours and let my head inflate; it’s just a nice reminder to have to bring you out of the cyclone of negative experiences we can get ourselves into.

 

We’re all human.

 

The accomplishments don’t even have to be accomplishments. They can be highlights of your life.

 

My list of awesome includes (condensed and shortened for personal reasons):

 

  • Getting a college degree.
  • Studying abroad in Australia.
  • Traveling abroad to England, Ireland, China, Japan, and Mexico to expand my horizons
  • Recovering from childhood trauma
  • Meeting Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

 

Keep adding to it as you get older. I have a feeling you’ll realize that you are a lot more awesome in real life than you are in your head. Your list of highlights won’t be the same as ANYONE ELSE’S. That’s pretty cool, don’t you think?

 

Find Your People And Surround Yourself With Them

 

For those of you who have been following the blog for a while now, you’ve probably gotten sick of hearing me say this, but it makes a world of difference.

 

 

You feel validated if you’re around people who you relate to. Your dreams don’t sound impossible.

 

And that’s one of the best things in the world.

 

Because when you’re with people who all feel different, you don’t feel that different yourself, right?

 

 

We’re all different in our own ways. That’s what makes us human. We all deserve love; it just takes some of us a while to realize it. As the documentary says, “it’s not a gay thing. It’s not a straight thing. It’s a human thing.”

 

 

Use Your Story To Help Others

 

I’ve said it before: You may not believe me, but your story matters. It does. It doesn’t have to define you. You can use it as fuel.

 

It takes time to find out how your story can help others, but it can.

 

I used mine to start this blog. Shane Bitney Crone uses his story to be an advocate for equal rights. Demi Lovato uses hers to be an anti-bullying and mental health advocate.

 

I can’t speak for either one of them, but I can say for myself that the people who have reached out to me with encouragement, and said that I’d helped them in some way through my writing, is more rewarding to me than anything.

 

And that sense of accomplishment, of giving back, has allowed me to begin to accept my story, and myself, that much more.

 

 

What have YOU found most helpful in learning to accept yourself?

 

Image Credit: Demi Lovato VEVO Youtube account