If the reason you aren’t doing something – anything – is “because it isn’t done”, that’s bullshit.
Be wild. Be silly. Be loud. Wear clothes that make you happy – even if they don’t match. Even if they look ridiculous! Big hats, mismatched shoes, polka dots with stripes. Go out for ice cream in the middle of the night! Walk slowly – saunter, even. Laugh a lot. Be inappropriate. Fart! Walk backwards, dance in the aisles, sing along with the music at dinner.
Be yourself, whatever that entails for you.
It’s okay; I give you permission. If anyone doesn’t like it, send them to me.
What do you like?
So much of our lives are spent being lived for someone else. We think of our kids or our parents, our friends or our co-workers, our bosses, and we mold ourselves into their molds based on their needs or desires.
But what about ourselves?
I spent my childhood being “too much”: I was too loud, too sensitive, too silly, too unrealistic. Eventually, being told “too much” too much, I toned down. I stopped being too silly, locked up bits of my heart so I wouldn’t be too sensitive, crushed some of my dreams so I wouldn’t be too unrealistic, and muted myself so I wouldn’t be too loud.
I am silly! I am loud! I laugh from my belly, even when we’re in fancy restaurants – even when it makes people look at me.
I wear socks that don’t match. My favorite pair of socks, in fact, is one pink with spirals and one purple with stripes – I don’t even have two matches of either of them. I wear colors that don’t always go perfectly together.
I realized about four years ago that the only person I really have to please is me.
The real too much is actually too little.
When we’re told we’re “too much” of anything, it pokes a little hole in our soul. It spawns a little “not good enough” demon to perch in our minds, way back at the back of our brains, to whisper lies to us when we look in the mirror or catch ourselves doing whatever it is we’re “too much” of.
So we smallenate. We pull in. We stop being wholly ourselves.
We clip our own wings based on the judgments of others. We crush our own dreams so we can fit in the boxes provided.
I used to be a chameleon.
I would act like my friends, even when their behavior didn’t suit me at all, because I was terrified of being alone, being abandoned, being unloved. I would sacrifice the love of myself for the love of others.
The other night, a friend was over playing Rock Band with us. I caught myself emulating the speech patterns of his girlfriend – something I still occasionally do. The thought process that followed was glorifying and powerful, and one I’d never experienced before.
(This is all in my head, to myself, and in the span of about ten seconds.)
I’m emulating his girlfriend. Why? Well, I know he loves her, so I know he likes that behavior, so I’m doing it so he’ll like me. What else can I offer him that he doesn’t already get with her?
Me! I can offer him me, the real me, the whole and unadulterated me – and no one else in the entire world can be as me as I can. I’m the only me, the only Kyeli, and he likes me because of that, not in spite of it!
I then relaxed and stopped acting like her and went back to acting like me, and had a much funner time of it.
Throw open the doors.
If we’re constantly acting in accordance with the rules or regulations set down by others, we’re constantly ignoring ourselves. But you are the only one in the entire universe that can be you, and if you dim your light, we’re all missing out on something wonderful and bright and shiny and entirely unique.
Invest in yourself. Find out who you really are, underneath. Discover your own likes and dislikes, find your sense of style. Love yourself first; treat yourself as you would your very best friend.
Our souls are crying out, begging to be released from their cages. Break the locks, throw open the doors, and be gloriously, unabashedly you.
I look forward to meeting you.