This week’s discover challenge asks this important question about you:
What’s one piece of great advice you’ve read recently? Or what’s the best bit of wisdom you’ve ever received?
I’ve actually received two great bits of wisdom: Be yourself (one I’ve heard from others when I’ve been less than confident and wanted to fit in), and leave your mark on the world (I’ve read this in places, and I’ve tried to adapt it as a personal credo). Both pieces of advice are nods to my wanting to stand out in a positive and meaningful way.
I have my moments where all I want to do is have something in common with family members, when it is clear that I don’t share the interests of family members. I worry that my talents and personality aren’t the norm, and that I should be more like everyone else as a means to fit in better. But the older I get, and the more I embrace the talents given to me, the more I try to distance myself from those beliefs of “be part of the norm,” and try harder to “be myself.” Being me isn’t a terrible thing – I’m not committing crimes and causing trouble, I’m just busy being the best writer I can possibly be. I can usually be found with my laptop handy, earbuds in my ears, and the far-off look on my face that can only come from concentration. I also am aware that no one in my family (or, at least, not my immediate family) has this talent, so I’ve felt the need to embrace it more, and work harder at bringing my talent to the world.
I have made great strides in being who I am – I don’t cover up the fact that I’m a geek anymore. I used to sorta keep that hidden, and tried to act as normal as it was possible in front of people. And I found that challenging. I didn’t stay true to who I was, but rather, staying true to what people want me to be, or picture me to be. Why isn’t that ok? Because it projects a false image of who you are, without people getting to know the real you and what you bring to life. People may not like the false you that you’re projecting, but they may love the real you. They may not, but if you have to change who you are for the sake of acceptance, then no good could come of the company of “fake you” likers.
That said, for any great strides I’ve taken, I have my moments. We all have our moments of weakness – it is what makes us human and functional. For me, it is the wanting to have a common bond with family. I know there is a deeper bond that involves blood relationship, but for me, something like commonality that doesn’t involve that automatic bond by birth sometimes trumps the importance of being who I am, and not what someone else wants (or what I think they want). Ok, sure, it doesn’t always help that I beat myself up about this from time to time, but we all have personal growth, and I’d like to think I’ve done alot of this in the last eighteen months.
The other piece of advice is something I’ve actually succeeded in doing for the last nearly eighteen months. Leaving your mark on the world – however small it is – more than just existing. It’s the impact you have on the world, and your personal brand. I leave my mark on the world by my writing style. I publish to my blog almost daily, and submit at least one or two articles to the nostalgia site I write for, Retroist.
Would I love to leave my mark on other places of the world? Yes, I would! I would love the opportunity to have the world see me as the writer of meaningful pieces, with a flair for nostalgia and geekism whenever and wherever I can throw it in. That’s my mark. That’s my personal brand.
Being myself and leaving my mark on the world. This is the image of me that I want people to see – me in my natural element, being the best individual that I can possibly be, while being exactly who I am at all times. I may not do this perfectly, but as I said, it is human to not always be perfect.