Tuesday, January 10, 2012
JUST. BE. YOURSELF. This is one of the most common pieces of advice we give to others. It sounds so easy but growing up, it was such a foreign concept to me. How was I supposed to be myself when I didn't know who I was? The one thing I did know was that I wanted to fit in. Be a part of the cool crowd. Be accepted. More often than not, I found myself conforming into the person I thought my friends wanted me to be.
It wasn't until the summer before my senior year of college that I truly started to discover who I was, and feel comfortable with it! It took moving away from everyone I knew to do this. That summer I was given the opportunity to teach tennis in the Hamptons. I couldn't have been more excited! Two months...living in a house full of people I had never met before, minutes from the beach, and only a train ride away from NYC. As dumb as this sounds, I felt like I was going on the Real World, only without the cameras. I felt like I was going to find myself.
I spent the majority of that summer relaxing on my personal floating dock in the ocean and exploring the streets of New York City. For the first time in my life, I was doing things solely because I wanted to do them. Choosing to do things because they made me happy. I began feeling confident in my own skin, comfortable being me.
That summer I made a list. A list of things I learned about myself, along with things that really make me happy. Over the years I have slowly added to it. Here is what the list looks like today.
1. I love candles, bubble baths, and reading a good book, preferably all at once.
2. I hate jumping on the bandwagon.
3. I love showers but hate post shower primping.
4. Fame and fortune isn't as important as having someone to love and people to love you back.
5. I will always be scared of dark windows at night.
6. Leaving my camera at home makes me feel incomplete. I like to document everything.
7. I LOVE chocolate. I don't think I could go a day without it...nor would I want to.
8. The happiest people feel they have power over their time.
9. Big cities make me feel at home. I love the energy they bring. NYC and Tokyo are two of my favorites.
10. New Girl makes me laugh harder than any show I have seen in a long time.
11. Some people find an art in cooking and cleaning. I am not one of them.
12. As much as I like my alone time, I like spending time around people more.
13. Made up songs has become my way of communication to those closest to me. Why talk when you can sing?!
14. It is okay to let yourself SHINE!
I still have a long way to go on the path of self discovery. I think this is true for most people. At least now when I hear people say "be yourself" I know what that means. I finally feel confident being me, and that is a great feeling.