Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Finding Yourself

The term ‘finding myself’ never used to make sense to me. I’d see people declare that as an excuse to break up, on movies or whilst overhearing conversations between adults. As a child, and even a teenager, this confused me. You were yourself. Did you lose your body? How did you not know who you were when you were you?

I thought I knew myself. I thought I would never use that phrase in my life. I liked lasagna. My favorite movie is Easy A. I liked old music. I wished I lived in the ‘roaring twenties’. What more could I possibly need to learn about myself?

The irony is that while this expression confused the hell out of me, I was floating from phase to phase, trying to be different people before realizing it didn’t suit me, then moving on to the next person. In year 7 I desperately tried to be like Bella from Twilight. Okay, this phase derived from my obsession with Edward and somehow coming to the belief that if I acted and looked like Bella, he would find me. In the middle of summer I wore jeans, long sleeve shirts, a plain (and ugly) headband, and even went to the extent of pasting my olive skin with baby powder in order to go paler. I deprived myself of running around in the sun, going to the beach, and doing all things outdoors (which I love), for 3 whole days in order to be like Bella. I soon found my loud, enthusiastic and hyperactive nature did not suit her and moved on, although with a broken heart.

My next phase was being Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl for almost the entire eighth grade. I purchased headbands, wore only skirts and dresses, and even tried acting like Blair. I sat up straight, barely ate, convinced myself I loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and even behaved like an uptight bitch despite living in ‘the hood’ of Perth. I realized my friends weren’t too keen on this new person and it eventually faded, becoming nothing more than one of my many phases.

Other phases included a short gothic phase, a surfy phase a brief Kendall Jenner phase and hundreds more. It wasn’t until I finished high school that I realized I barely knew who I was. And it wasn’t just the phases that made my perception murky. It was the influences from my peers in high school too.

I was influenced to do what was cool, and to internalize the things I did that were deemed un-cool. In high school, I don’t doubt less than ten percent of people knew who they were, or even acted like their true selves. It was finishing high school, when I no longer spent every day with everyone, spent my days alone, that I realized I had no idea who I was. Everyone was going off to University, but I didn’t even have a clue what I wanted to do with my life.

I understand the phrase and feel bad for those who say it, because 9/10 times those who do, feel lost, and have absolutely no idea where to start. But at the same time, finding yourself is a great experience and it’s amazing once you do. Although some realize they don’t quite like who they are. Not going to lie, I felt this way at more than one point too.

I realized I was selfish. I was lazy. I believed in fate because I didn’t want to make my own. I couldn’t stick around for people when things got tough. I was a giver-upper.

But I’m also kind and empathetic. I’m funny. I’m a dreamer with an imagination. I’m open-minded. And I could finally be these things that I was without judgment from my peers. I could enhance these qualities, and simmer my poor ones. It takes a lot for someone to admit their flaws. Some people think too highly of themselves to look at themselves negatively. But it’s the only way you’ll truly know yourself.

Now I’m more than just my favorite movies and music. I’m ambitions. Goals. Values. Events. Experiences. Good qualities. And Bad too. Mixed up into a soul I know quite well. A soul I may even consider one of my best friends.


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