WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE YOU?
By: Cheryl Soh
Are you true to yourself? Do you know who you truly are? What does it mean to be you?
We are often found to be confused and lost as to who we are. We behave like robots, never realizing how indifferent we are from the person next to us. But when we are posed with questions like the above, we are thrown into a well of confusion. Now, it’s time for real talk.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M TRUE TO MYSELF
After the tragedies of Charlie Hebdo earlier this year, many people took the chance to fight for freedom of speech. A 2008 international survey derived that ‘individuals are becoming increasingly individualized, while at the same time obtaining a higher degree of control over their lives’. We, the people of today want to be able to exercise freedom of speech and the freedom of self-expression.
My older cousin was a boy who constantly changed his style, his attitudes, and his way of thinking. Growing up, I saw him rocking out baggy, slackish-outfits (the trend back then) to sleek, clean dressing in a snap. He was overly-vulgar in front of his peers but was a refined fellow in front of his parents. His reason? He has too many people of different preferences to please. His parents wanted him to be neat and polite while his peers had the impression that he was a ‘cool’ dude.
Change is good but change can also be bad. If you are changing your mindset, your attitude, your style for the sake of others, then what is the point? Staying true to yourself is learning how to respect yourself and the decisions you make.
To change, you have to respect what you think. Rather than burying whatever thoughts you may have, embrace it. Being true to yourself doesn’t equate to no change and staying stagnant in your way of thinking. Being true to yourself is to recognize your thoughts but also respecting yourself enough to make the right choices.
HOW DO I IDENTIFY WHO I TRULY AM
There is no exact answer. Identifying yourself is a life-long process of peeling yourself open, layer by layer. Most find it difficult to introduce themselves as one person to another but why can others introduce us so well? The answer: we are all too self-conscious.
We are subconsciously conscious to everything we do, however mild. Literally as the saying goes, we are reading in too much when we are trying to identify who we are. The more we read into it, the more we overthink who we are.
SO, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE YOU
Being yourself, is to be honest to who you are. Respect your thoughts, but respect yourself more to make the right choices.
My cousin realized that he didn’t have to match himself to anybody’s standards, although 6 years late. He’s happy, wears what he wants to wear, talks like how he wants to talk. He learnt how to embrace himself despite the time he took and that’s what matters.
Don’t worry if you don’t know who you are at this moment. Identifying yourself is a long process of self-reflection while upholding self-respect. Move at your own pace and savor the experience of exploring your inner self.