No Second Rate Substitutes

Why would an orange try to change itself to become an apple?

Just because there are more apples?

By doing so, it negates its own value – Vitamin C.

A fruit analogy to display just how important it is to stay true to yourself.

Never negate your own value and try to be something else because if you do, you’ll be nothing more than a second rate substitute. Brian Kim

Now I’m not too familiar with a fruit analogy telling me to be myself! But here are some things I do know…

When we are children, we are told to be nothing but ourselves, people would like us better that way. But as our childhood gets stripped away so we begin to hide ourselves away, maybe confused about what we think we should be and losing ourselves in the process. Well not losing, more like hiding who we are. I’ve always felt an internal demand not to reveal my true colours too suddenly but let them out in slow, controlled trickles. But lately I’ve been letting my guard down and they tend to burst out in pulses, uncovering who I am through gestures, conversations and expressions. No longer being chipped away at, more like stripping off layers. I will accidentally let my quirks and strange sense of humour out the bag and the best thing is people don’t seem to mind that. And I’m even surprising myself when I shine. Feeling good to no longer masquerade.

Before I was about 19 when I met new people I would either be really quiet (often mistaken for being cold and aloof, even though I was listening to everything being said and very interested, thinking of questions to ask) or I would feign super confidence and feel utterly exhausted for playing this character. I really didn’t know who I was. I have no idea which stone my confidence has hidden under or who paid its ransom but it finally found its way into me, better late than never. I have less qualms about saying what I really think in conversations, giving my views on controversial topics and slowly the awkwardness of revealing my true self is dripping away. Even feeling more comfortable taking the spotlight when it falls on me, when did that happen. The best part about it is I don’t have to fake the confidence it’s radiating externally and through my being because I’m more sure of myself.  I have always had so much to say and finally I’m voicing it.

I’m breaking down walls and resisting building new ones and I know people like me for being me and not a part I’m playing. I love meeting like-minded people who I connect with instantly, we understand each other from the beginning in an unspoken-but-it-will-show-soon way. Maybe through a passion for animals, books, science, life, living, making a difference, a whole myriad of things with a hope for it to run deeper over time. I might have the occasional moment where I feel a bit wobbly and uncertain of myself, but I just need to take a good look in the mirror and remember this.

It’s taken over two decades to get to this stage, but the more I realise THIS IS IT. NOW. The more determined I am to make the most of life and be a first-rate me.  Wouldn’t it be sad to go through this life as a unique, one-of-a-kind person and the world never to see that. To have all these hopes, dreams and desires but be too scared to live them out, to let fear run your life. You can’t let this happen. In us all is a confidence we need to find and as Oscar Wilde said, ‘Be yourself; everybody else is taken’.

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3 Comments

Filed under Life, Life Lessons, Musings and Aphorisms, NABLOPOMO, Personal Development

3 responses to “No Second Rate Substitutes

  1. Very nice blog…Best wishes to you! 🙂

  2. dyingdai

    Very beautifully said. You’re subscribed now 🙂
    To hide yourself behind a hundred masks feels often necessary (and it is probably as a kid. – Children’s are evil!) and somehow it gets harder each day to reveal your true face beneath it. But not living yourself is equal to not living completely.
    To express yourself, whether its on the Internet via a blog or in conversations (or wherever) is the best thing you can do 🙂 I know this thematic very well and enjoyed your Post.
    Keep your spirits up.
    DyingDai

  3. Julie

    I noticed the older I got the more child-like i get and I feel that’s where I most confident. It’s not childish–like as in immature but more like…i don’t know. Childlike–like having curiousity and no inhibitions and just living it up. But I noticed when I hit the real world, people don’t feel that way–I can sense tension when I speak to them. It’s not so much about the chemistry but more about the way their carry themselves like they’re uptight and I find that these people are just so hard to talk to. They’re only uninhibited when drunk hahah.

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