"I Gotta Be Me" ...right? Sammy Davis sang this song years ago! (..& yes, my title is from lyrics of that song!)
Being independent is cool. It means that having your own way of doing things, as long as no one is hurt, is good. Also, just because everyone else thinks that adopting certain style or fads create the best way to look, if it’s not for you, you’re probably right. Embrace your uniqueness, don’t worry about it.
Deciding whether to follow the trend or the pack starts as soon as we are aware of our surroundings and of differing styles.
As kids, we know that what we look like – or own—is not the same as the pack of kids in our class. If we are taller or need thicker glasses, we’re aware that we stand out. Most of the time we don’t like it. I didn’t like anything about myself that was not “like everyone” when I was growing up. I was even very self-conscious of having no brothers and sisters.
Now, I like being that quirky Designer/Blogger/Yoga/Gardener person. It’s pretty awesome that I speak fluent Spanish (although I did as a child, but was more self-conscious than proud). I am very proficient in French as well, and it’s fun to (truthfully) kind of flaunt it!
In my Design work, I have always been independent, too. I have certain sensibilities and memory about color and “spatial relations” that are not like other Designers and that it OK. I have done this work for a long time and I feel blessed to have these comparatively different ways of putting concepts and projects and spaces together. One of my mentors would tell me that I have “perfect pitch in color” and it’s possibly true, even when I can’t remember where I left my cell phone.
We might think that there is nothing extraordinary about ourselves. It’s quite easy to draw back and work very hard to just blend in. For some reason, some ways that make people unique, or different, make us self-conscious rather than proud. It’s mostly things like being shy or chubby or tall or short or skinny. Maybe our hair is too curly or we got worse –or even better—grades in school. I have learned that most children are self-conscious about one thing or another. When I hear from friends and acquaintances what has made them “hide out’, it usually makes me sad. And, many of those things still torture us as we get older. If we don’t take a very good look at ourselves to find the bright side of our being (as it were), will those hesitations and insecurities remain? Probably.
You can’t see inside your head and heart in a mirror, but if you think you might find it worthwhile, I hope you can pull yourself aside and, in whatever way works for you, try. Rather than being self-conscious, I embracing who I am, happily. There have been times when it’s been hard to do, but since I am not harming anyone, it’s a good thing. I wish I had understood that all along, but I do now!
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