The key to being yourself -your true self- is to stop pretending to be the person everyone else thinks you should be...
Growing up, fitting in was never her forte. She was the middle child and never had anything in common with her siblings. Other than their parents. Her skin color is an in-between mixture of hues that don't fit exactly into any one race or culture. She's an introvert and if you're a fellow introvert, you know what that's like. Introverts aren't really what you'd call popular.
And throughout her growing up years, she ached to belong. The right clothes, the right style, the right friends. Planning the right future with the right career and the right husband who could help her produce the right offspring.
As the years blended into one another, none of that felt...well, it didn't feel right. And since who she was (and subsequently is) at her core didn't fit it in, she chose the path of least resistance. She settled.
For the guy who was deemed good enough. She put off the dream of her career and took jobs that were good enough to get by on. And lived in abodes that were good enough but lacked the welcomeness of home. Until her life became good enough with the exception of the bright stars that were the children that she was blessed with. But other than the kids, none of it felt...well, none of it felt good. And frankly, it wasn't enough.
She longed for more. For the dreams of her true self to come true. For the essence of who she was and who she longed to become to be able to thrive and live and be. So when good enough took a turn for the worse, she started taking risks.
And in the years to follow she started to rebel against who everyone said she was supposed to be according to their plan for her. Along that path she encountered the frustrations of others and sometimes herself when again she would find herself in a situation where she didn't quite fit in and was determined not to sell herself short in order to do so. There were moments of loneliness indeed.
She continued to choose the path of most resistance. From small things to big. From her clothes to her standards to her belief systems to her values. Along the way, she was rewarded with meeting someone who loves her for who she is. Her children and the ones they added to their brood delightedly have their own strong opinions and she smiles when she sees them and hears them and so enjoys getting to know them. And along the way, she found the one person she was missing the most all along. She found herself and this is what she learned:
“When I met me, I was surprised to learn I could like someone so much. That my wit and humor and compassion for others was a great joy to be around. I've learned that even when I need my alone time to recharge and reflect, I am a pleasant being. That my silence doesn't mean I'm lonely or standoffish or stuck up, but just that I'm taking it all in and listening and hearing and thinking before I speak again.
It turned out that when I met me, I was pleased to make my acquaintance. Because the key to discovering who you are is to stop pretending to be the person everyone else thinks you should be.”
Who are you? Are you being the person you were created to be? Or following the path of least resistance and pretending to be the person everything else thinks you should be? Are you settling for just good enough or reaching out to grasp your dreams and meet self?