Definition: me

December 14, 2010
Everybody is self-conscious.

That’s not a question or an opinion. It’s the truth. Everyone cares about what other people think. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human. After all, society is everything to us. Friends. Company. Community.

Describe yourself. Better yet, ask someone else to describe you.

Annoying, dumb, ugly, fat, stupid, boring, slow, deceitful, inept, indecisive, insecure. Pretty, brilliant, benevolent, vivacious, quirky, eccentric, effervescent, kind, honest, funny.

Maybe what they say is true.

But life isn’t about what’s true or false. There is no truth. The universe is open and waiting for you to shout something into its depths and hear it echo back at you. No one can tell you who you are.

Yes, you are your bra size. And how much you weigh and whether or not you look good in a bikini. If you want to be defined that way. What someone calls you might become your identity someday. Maybe you are your GPA or your SAT score. Maybe you are how fast you can sprint 100 meters or how beautifully you can draw. You might even be how many friends you have or how many boys you’ve kissed. It’s all part of you.

But you are who you are. Understand that. Don’t worry about accepting that or being comfortable with yourself. Just understand that at this second, in this moment, you are you. And nothing anybody says, thinks, or feels can change that.

Listen to your own music and let the world’s opinion filter through the chords. Watch your own movie with rose-tinted, dandelion-tinted, violet-tinted glasses. Redesign the smell of rain. Paint your own sunsets.

Yes, it is acceptable, understandable to feel self-conscious. Everyone feels hurt if someone insults them. Everyone feels disappointed if their test grades are low. Nobody ever told you to stop caring about what other people say—other people say important things. But the big question is whether you or your consciousness is in control.

Don’t describe yourself. Define yourself.

Let yourself be unconscious once a day. Take a chance and dance snazzily in the middle of the lunchroom. Tell someone exactly what you think of them. Remind everyone that they can say what they want, and so can you. Make excuses first, and fix things later; or, do things first, and apologize after. It’s your life, not theirs.

Dictionary? What dictionary?

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