I’m weird. I’ve never had a ton of friends. I don’t like to go out. I don’t love the taste of alcohol or the way it makes me feel and would much rather spend my time drinking tea and reading/watching Netflix or hanging out with a close friend than partying the night away. (I also might be a senior citizen trapped in a twentysomething’s body, but that’s a conversation for another day…)
I’m weird. I stutter when I get nervous. I think of something clever to say way after the fact. I get nervous going to new places or meeting new people.
I’m weird. I’m a blogger and ‘Instagrammer’ but loathe being in photos. I don’t seek out “Instagrammable” or “trendy” places to shoot or write about. In fact, I tend to stay away from them.
I’m weird. I worry way too much about what other people think and I spend way too long wrapped up in my thoughts. And yet I tend to do the opposite of what people want me to do because I am extremely stubborn.
And, slowly but surely, I’ve embraced it.
I might not be “cool” or “trendy” or “popular” but I’m happy. And it’s taken me a long time to get here.
In today’s society, it’s so easy to judge your life based on what you see on social media. I think we’ve all had thoughts like: She must be so happy all the time because of all those smiling photos she posts every day. He must be so included and popular because of all those group shots that appear on his Facebook. She’s practically famous because her photo got liked 1,000 times.
But looking to other people for your happiness (or lack thereof) will not make you happy. It will not help you embrace who you are.
And if you’re still struggling to find out who you are?
Take some time away from social media and/or people. Think. Observe. Feel. What makes you feel happy? Not that fleeting smile or good thought, but that deep feeling of warmth and contentment. What inspires you to live your best life? Is it when you’re taking pictures of pretty things? Is it when you’re hanging out with friends? Is it when you’re alone?
Take what you find and embrace it. You are unique. You are lovely. You are beautiful. You matter.
Embrace who you are. Celebrate your weirdness.
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
And, to be honest, the moment I started to accept myself and embrace who I am, I felt “lighter” if that makes sense. Happier. Less aware of my differences and more present with the value I bring to the table with colleagues, friends and family.
I still struggle with this sometimes. Who doesn’t? It’s a process. But I think it’s a process that I’m slowly learning how to navigate. Thank goodness!