“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight,”
– E.E. Cummings
I was an impressionable kid. I still am to some degree. I remember one day after returning from visiting my family in Indiana, I had started talking differently. I thought the Midwestern accent that my cousin had was the coolest thing and began using it in my daily lingo.
My mom took quick notice of this. I forget her exact words, but the message was clear: be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
It’s easy to default to be somebody else. To follow what the “cool kids” are doing in school or act just like the boss or like Kim Kardashian. Why? Because it’s easy. Because it’s safe.
Because if people don’t know who you really are, then they can’t possibly dislike you.
It’s a cover. It’s a protective shell that ends up suffocating us in the long run.
It’s lame, it’s cliche, but it’s true.
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.