Monday, June 27, 2011

On Becoming You

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland
It continually amazes me how much peer pressure effects young peoples choices.
How what their friends or heroes or neighbors are doing- touches them immensely.
How adopting, mimicking, and following someone elses dress and habits- can somehow make them unique. Or cool. Or happy.
Maybe it is just my age, but I get disgusted with some fashions and fads and celebrity trash that think they are some type of idols. Face it- you are just human. Having purple hair, driving a Porsche and blacking your eyes does not make you indestructible. Or better. Or special.
Is is a type of wanderlust? Retaliation? A call for help?
The hardest thing about life is knowing who you are.
Even at my age, I'm a little confused.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings
When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be an artist or a teacher.
I am neither.
Unless you count my play times with paint and the way I raised my children. I suppose there is a little of each dream inside of me, but neither one ever emerged in full force or completely.
I am a kaleidoscope of many things. A tapestry of songs. A quilt of thoughts. A puzzle of dreams. A map of places I've been and places I want to someday go. I am only what my heart feels and my words speak.
All the rest is just covering. Decoration or disguise.
Does your clothing reflect who is inside- or who you wish to be?
Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep. ~Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, 1750
I remember how hard it was in high school to keep up with the cool kids. My sister and I always seemed to get the latest fashion- only when it was too late. It was out of style and laughed upon by the time we owned it.
I guess I realized then that it was just a game. Those kids were the same kids with or without the cool bell bottoms and peasant blouse or newsboy hat.
And I was the same person, too.
In my Wranglers and Chukka boots and shag hair cut.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss
I don't care about keeping up with the Jone's. Having bigger and better than my neighbors or friends.
I buy and nurture what is comfortable for me and what makes me happy. My decisions are based on feelings, not fashion. On my heart, and not Hollywood. On myself- and not myriads of people struggling to die with the most toys.
Maybe I'm weird.
Call me snobby. Eccentric. Static. A party-pooper.
But, you know- Words don't matter. Labels don't count.
If you are my friend, you know the score -and you'll come drink coffee with me at the kitchen table.
Individualism is rather like innocence: There must be something unconscious about it. ~Louis Kronenberger, Company Manners, 1954
I read a quote the other day that said "Life is not about finding yourself- It's about creating yourself."
Well put.
I'm still trying to create myself. Attempting to put all the good parts of myself together and shuck all the bad parts. To shed old skin for new skin. Dusty ideas for bright ones.
Yet, I follow my own path, Sometimes it's weedy and overgrown and I get lost.
But other times it's like a perfect swim. I glide and smile and see the goal.
Sometimes I'm so closed-minded that there is nothing but a dark hole.
Yet other times, my mind is so open that you can't see the edge of the horizon.

There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away. ~Henry Ward Beecher
I vow to be more open to God's gifts. To listen more closely to my own drum. Do I just want to see beautiful things- or create beautiful things? Hear songs- or sing songs? Watch
the stars- or to reach out to touch them?
We make our own mold. Shape it. Carve it. Chisel it from a blueprint that our hearts make.

Here's hoping that you are you today.
That your eyes are not blinded by wealth or power or fame, but by the soul within you that shines like a lighthouse to guide your life.

Every day is another chance to create who you are.

There's a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside. ~Pearl Bailey

(originally posted Feb.4, 2010)


  1. Insightful and inspiring. I will have to read this over a few more times.

  2. I consider it one of the great blessings of my life that I learned very early not to try to keep up with the Jones's! I just love to collect those things that the Jones's have discarded and I pay a few pennies on their dollar *winks*
    I also think a certain amount of wisdom comes with least I certainly HOPE so!! *winks* Loved this post. As always you express yourself beautifully and eloquently Rae. Vanna


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