It can be pretty easy to get caught up in other people’s expectations or norms, I’ve learned this in my 20’s more so than ever. Everyone wants to fit in and have things in common with their peers, so sometimes we end up letting go of things that make us truly happy, the things that make us, us.
For example, being from Texas, I never really got into the country music scene. I have a few red dirt bands I listen to every now and then, but I’ve always been more into rock, indie, and alternative music. My friends call it depressing, I call it mellow. I let go of it for a while though, because I couldn’t listen to my music around others without them making jokes. It didn’t necessarily bother me because everyone is totally entitled to their opinions. But I just stopped listening to it unless I was alone out of embarrassment, which is silly. I guess I would rather not listen to it at all if I couldn’t listen to it in peace. My music helps me unwind. Nothing makes me happier than sitting in the tub after a long day, listening to Borns or Hozier come through my speakers. It’s like medicine to me and the more I listen, the more I feel.
Same thing with dressing up. I always knew I was a fashion risk-taker. I never was in-style really, nor did I care to be. I wanted, and would still love, to be a trend-setter. I want my creativity to show through what I wear. I have finally become comfortable in with my own style, as loud as it may be sometimes, but that’s who I am. I’ve never been one to know brand names or designers. I guess I never really cared. So when people say “Oh my gosh, these shoes by _____________ are killer,” I am always the one who has no idea whom they are speaking of. I want to be comfortable and feel good when I dress up, so I do what suits me and that usually consists of buying things that aren’t name brands. I actually have a pair of jean shorts I bought from Wal-Mart back in 2008, I still wear them and they still look good. Holla.
What I love about all of my friends is how different we all are. I feel like when we’re younger, we all want to look, act, and be the same because we feel like it’s a competition. I can’t speak for everyone, but the older I’ve become the more I have realized how important it is for me to embrace my quirks and nurture my uniqueness. Besides, who wants to blend in? We are all so different and beautiful in our own ways. I think part of the reason we all get along so well is because the one thing we do all share in common is kindness and friendliness. We want to build each other up and compliment one another. When you do that, you spread happiness, and there is nothing sexier than a dynamic group of happy women.
I think wanting to fit in is something we all eventually grow out of. If people don’t like me, I don’t give it a second thought because I’m still going to do what makes me happy, with or without their approval. The people who appreciate me for me are the ones worthy of my time and love. Girls can, and will, still be catty, but who has time for drama anymore? If someone wants to stand out, let them. What good does it do to bring someone down for being a little different? All the greats were different. They certainly didn’t get anywhere by blending in.
You get my drift. None of the above cared about fitting in, and if they did, there is a 300% chance that they would not have succeeded or made history with their music. Standing out was their niche, it was their realm of comfort. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be rocking a dress made out of raw meat anytime soon, but to those who do, more power to them. It takes a lot to stand out, it takes courage to be you and to do the things that make you happy.
I pull so much inspiration from some of these iconic figures, not because I want to be like them or dress like them, but because I admire their loyalty to themselves and their ability to shamelessly be exactly who they are.
Figure out what it is that inspires you and nurture it until it blossoms. Cooking, reading, music, writing, traveling, fashion, philanthropy, etc. These are all things that people are passionate about, things that inspire people. For me, it’s obviously music and fashion; these things make me who I am and they make me confident. Maybe I’ll never be a model or a renowned musician, but so what? It makes me happy to have something to inspire me, period.
Love yourself for all the things you are, and all the things you aren’t; that’s the key to confidence.