No one can ever be you better than you can be you.
All throughout life we’re asked “who are you?”. Whether it be during first introductions, job interviews, first day of class, and so on. We’re asked to describe ourselves, “give me a few facts about yourself”, “list your name, where you go to school, and what you like to do for fun”, as if these simple questions hold the answer to who exactly you are.
From childhood, the phrase “honesty is the best policy” has been ingrained into us. But then the white lies start and then big lies and then we’re on to even bigger lies. What would happen if we were completely honest about ourselves during job interviews?
Dave (future employer): “Could you describe yourself for me?”
You: “I would love to, Dave. I enjoy watching ten hours of Netflix a day and eating copious amounts of junk food. I post pictures on social media hoping people see how great I am because I get 100-plus ‘likes’ on all of my photos. I have no actual interest in this job; I just know it will look good on my resume and grad schools will appreciate it.”
Dave: “Uh, well… great thank you, don’t expect a call back.”
It’s unrealistic to tell your future employer honestly who you are. It’s even harder if you don’t even know who you are. In elementary school, we look forward to middle school because you can’t wait to be a big kid. In middle school, we look forward to high school because puberty is ruining your life. In high school, it’s your sixteenth birthday, then prom, eighteenth birthday, graduation, and then finally college. College, where you’ll finally be able to know who you are. Discover yourself, meet life long friends, get away from your hometown, find your spouse. You’ve waited for this moment your whole life. High school wasn’t the best four years for you, but man oh man college will be.
While we’re all so busy waiting and waiting for something better, we forget that life is happening now. You are happening now. You are growing, molding, changing each and everyday. I am not the same person person I was five years ago, five months ago, heck I’m not even the same person I was five days ago. Maybe this is just me because I am a Gemini and we’re known for our ever changing personalities. But I think that everyone goes through some type of self discovery phase at one point or another.
Time and circumstances change us. People change us. Religion changes us. Erik Erikson, an ego psychologist, has a pyschosocial development theory that basically suggests at each stage of life we go through a certain stage that inevitably changes who we are and helps us move on to our “true identity.” We start from infancy and on to late adulthood, each stage earning us a virtue. Continued growth and development throughout one’s life is stressed in Erikson’s theory, thus changing who we are. Not just who we are in general either, who we are in each moment of our lives. Who we are in each circumstance is relative. We have certain people who we act a certain way around. It’s unrealistic to be the same exact person with every person you meet. Of course there is some type of degree to this. We can’t change who we are deep inside completely. Each different person we “become,” inevitably bleeds into each other.
As time goes on heartbreaks heal, friendships mend, friendships break, hobbies change, interests change, taste buds change, music favorites change, the type of person you look for in a significant other changes, favorite outfits change, new friendships are made, and you most importantly change. The heartbreak that absolutely crushed you a year ago has made you stronger. The friendship that was once broken has now seen the immature ways of both parties. The friendship that got you all throughout high school, now suddenly can’t get you through college. The sport that consumed you in high school now sounds like something you could never pick up again. The certain genre of books you once read now sounds unappealing. The breakfast bars that you ate everyday before school taste like sand in your mouth. The shrimp that your dad told you to eat for years, but you refused, now tastes like your biggest regret. The song that you played on repeat in eighth grade gives you the worst kind of chills. The boy you once had the biggest crush on has cheated on his girlfriend four times and counting. The outfit that seemed to be all over your facebook pictures is now buried at the bottom of your closet. The person who thought you’d never be friends with, is now your best friend who can get you through college. The quotes you saved in your phone a year ago are something you laugh and shake your head at because of your naivete. We look back on our old selves with fondness. We’ll do the same five years from now, for the rest of our lives.
The things of our past make up who we are. Although they make you up, they are not actually you. Our past experiences shape us entirely, but that does not mean you are your past mistakes. Maybe the things you did were things to impress people, or to pretend to be someone you were not, to get a certain guy’s attention. Countless molds we tried to shove and push ourselves into. When we should have just taken a deep breath and accepted who we were. Once we’ve recognized that we are constantly changing, we can look at ourselves now and realize that we are literally always changing and we can try to forget the pressures of figuring yourself out.
Maybe you’ve consulted the universe, or astrology, or religion, or another person, all in hopes of wanting to know who you are. Whether you believe you come from the stars in the sky, or a divine being who has thoughtfully created you, or if you just don’t know where you come from, you are you for a reason. The greatest power we have on this earth is being ourselves. No one else out on this planet is exactly the same person I am. I am me and that is my power. You are you and that is your power. No one can take that away from you. No one can ever be you better than you can be you. Just as you can’t be someone else, you are the best you because you’re the only you. So the point here is that there really is no answer to “who are you?” Except of course the simple answer of me. I am me and that is who I am.
I am a person who is constantly changing. I pour myself into different interests every week. I change my hair color whenever I’m bored. Every book I read changes me. I am made out of love. I am loved. I am not the mistakes I’ve made. I am not who I was yesterday. I commit to some things half-way. I commit to other things with 110%. I wear what I want because I like it. I do my makeup because it’s fun. I don’t do my makeup because some days I just don’t want to. I lay in bed one day because I am battling with depression. I get out and hangout with friends because that day was a good day. I love my friends. I love my family. I love reading. I love writing and drawing. I love change. I love equality. I am a different person everyday. I am me. I am Heidi, God’s child.
Love you because you are you. There is no one like you out there, and don’t let society take that from you. You are an ever-changing human being.