“Today you are you.
That is truer than true.
There’s no one alive who is youer than you.”
– Dr. Seuss
How many times have you heard that quote since kindergarten? I know I’ve heard it more times than I can count. But what if you don’t really know who *you* are?
I have never really been the type to fit in. I’ve never belonged to a group of friends. In high school, I had two best friends who I loved dearly, but even they had their “place” within a group of other people. Why couldn’t I just click with a group? I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly why. It made me insecure. It gave me unreal anxiety. I felt like no one really liked me enough. I felt I wasn’t enough for anyone to want me to sit with them at the lunch table.
Fast forward to the mom days… Everyone found their mom friend. That friend they can call to have play dates and go on lunch dates with. Even the non-parents seemed to be settled in with who they are and where they belong. Everyone found their niche whether it was living in the gym every day, establishing their careers, going to school full time, babywearing and being “crunchy” moms, buying and building homes, selling body wraps and jewelry and leggings.
Then there’s me. I started to feel extreme pressure to do anything I could to make people like me. The thoughts in my head were nothing but
Maybe you should get a gym membership. No one wants to hang out with the fat girl. Get more tattoos. People like tattoos. Or try an ombré out in your hair. Drink more wine. Try It Works. Start getting your nails done regularly. Listen to more country music. People don’t like girls who like metal, but country is cute. People know you as the stuck up Bible thumper who went bad. You’ll never make it in with the Christian folk again. You should probably buy some boutique clothing with some color in them. Don’t make it known that you formula fed one child or you’ll never be appreciated by the mom group. Don’t be too proud of breastfeeding or you’ll piss off the formula moms. Fleek your brows and wing your eyeliner. Be a Christian. Do yoga. Drink wine. Smoke weed. Take better selfies. Cook Instagram worthy dinners.
That is just THE HALF of it. I was so desperate to fit in that I felt like I needed to pick up a hobby and change myself to match everyone else. How will I ever make friends if I don’t have a “thing”? You know what I’m talking about. A thing that people associate you with. We all know there’s the girl who is always posting fitness motivation. There’s the girl who looks great in LuLaRoe. There’s the girl who goes hunting. There’s the girl who has the newly built nice house. The one who sells vinyl decals. The one who sews. The one who has tons of tattoos. The one who does hair. The photographer. The one who goes bar hopping every night and never seems to have a hangover. The one who has an online boutique. The one who always has the best makeup.
BUT WHO AM I?
It took me over 23 years to finally realize what I’m about to tell you.
I am just me. I am a mother to a seriously wild three year old and a crazy cute one year old. I’m wife to a man who I love more than anything on this planet, even when there was a time I wanted to strangle him. I love metal music and skulls and black is my favorite color, even if you think that’s weird. I drive a used old Ford Explorer that I am extremely proud of, even if there are other 23 year olds with 2017 Tahoes in their name. My house isn’t brand spanking new and Joanna Gaines would probably puke if she saw it, but we’ve worked hard to get where we are today. I don’t wear boutique clothing or trendy statement tees because I just genuinely love all black clothing. I’m not thin and my eyebrows will always have strays, but my husband still thinks I’m beautiful and all this chunkiness came from late night Taco Bell binges with him that I will remember until the day I die. When I am with the friends that I do have, I make them laugh and that makes me feel good. I like to think that I’m funny and smart.
So no, I may not belong to a big friend group. I might not be the person that people desire to have in their clique. Why? I don’t know. But the thing is, I’ve learned not to care so much. I know that I am a good mom and a good person. I know that I can make people laugh and I try to make people feel good about themselves. I’ve learned to focus on what is good about ME rather than fitting into a mold in hopes that people might like me more. Because I like me. And there is no other ME in the world.
Don’t spend your time focusing on what you should be. Don’t waste years of your life hating yourself like I did and wondering where you went wrong and why you don’t fit in. You don’t need people lined up out the door to be your friend to tell you that you’re enough. FIND HAPPINESS WITHIN YOURSELF. Don’t look for it in other people. That is so important. Don’t keep up with the Joneses because they’re probably just miserable people anyways. Take pride in who YOU are and what YOU love. If that’s selling jewelry or sharing about protein powders or being a Christian or drinking beer or WHATEVER… Take pride in it. But don’t ever feel pressured to do anything or be someone who you are not just because that’s what everyone else is doing or because you think that people will like you more if you do. It will never bring the happiness you’re looking for.
You have to learn to love yourself for everything you are or you will hate yourself for everything you’re not.
This post isn’t intended to make anyone feel like doing any of the things that I listed are just following fads, being snooty, basic, lame, whatever. They’re just the things I personally felt pressured to do, even when I had no real interest in doing them besides to fit in. Take pride in what you love, no matter what it is 🙂