Thursday, August 16, 2012


We spend our entire lives being told we're "too this" or "too that" or that we will never be "whatever enough."

Photo from here

It begins when we're younger than we can even remember... times of being too loud, too messy, too unruly for our parents. That's not really a bad thing, it's part of growing up. Toddlers and young children are naturally going to be wild until they learn to control themselves. They will naturally be loud and boisterous and full of energy and create messes. It's part of being young.
But once we get old enough to control ourselves, the constant habit of being "too ____" doesn't end. It intensifies. Around puberty it becomes especially harsh. Other children our own age begin to judge and compare us to others. Suddenly you're developing too fast or two slow. You're too tall or too short. Your forehead is too big or your eyes are too small or your waist should be narrower or your voice is taking too long to deepen, or a million other possible problems to make you seem inadequate.
For a very long time I completely believed that once I was out of middle and high school and had entered the "real world," this would change. I thought that magically once we all graduated and became adults, that we would all mature and see each other for who we really were.
That is decidedly not the case.

It has never affected me the same way it has many of the other people -- especially girls -- whom I know. I realized quickly that it was pointless to try to conform and change myself to become whatever it was that everyone believed to be "ideal."

However, even now, the pressure is there. Sometimes I know it hits me more strongly because of my desire to not simply conform. Because I have simply stayed myself -- whoever that happened to be as I have grown and developed and found my interests and passions -- there is a different problem than many people face. A lot of people find their "group" and throw themselves in 100% (which lets them fit in with that group, but also provides additional problems if they ever find that they no longer fit. Another issue entirely for another time...), but I've never done that. As a result, I've never been the ideal of any specific scene, either. I'm never the extreme, no matter which group I am with (and trust me, I have a widespread group of friends and interests, so that takes me to more different groups of people than you can imagine).

I think the lesson is that you can never hope for that to change. All you can do is to find yourself, whoever that may be, and to become happy with that person. Accept yourself, and find people who appreciate you for it. Find people who help you grow, who encourage you, who make you smile and laugh. Don't pay attention to pointless criticism, and more importantly, don't flippantly judge everyone around you as "too whatever." 

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