Being You and Staying Trueby Jill Garzik, Scituate, MASomeone once told me something I'll never forget: you are only really yourself when you are alone. It's true. If you think about it, you cannot truly be yourself when others are around. I am convinced that hardly anyone is truly him or herself, and those who are, are only so in seclusion.When you are with your family, you can burp in front of them and it doesn't matter what you look like, but you might feel like you can't be eccentric. You worry how they might react if you did something like dye your hair, or wear funky clothes from the '60s around the house.When you're with your friends, the same uneasiness exists, but in a different form. I'm the type of person who can wear anything in front of my friends, do my hair any way I want and communicate in my own funk-i-fied language, without worrying (or caring) if they think I'm a weirdo. On the outside, I can be anything, and my friends are still my friends. That uneasiness is still there, but you can't see it. It's like karma tells you not to do certain things, not to be the original oddball you are inside because you feel people might judge you at any given moment.So, the next time you're alone, in your room or in your car, think how differently you act when you're in the company of others. I bet you'll notice you're not the same person you thought you were. Then, think why this is - why you act differently. The reason: no distractions, no pressures to fit into this "mold," no restrictions - you can be completely free. You can be as weird as you want and no one will know.The funny thing is that I've noticed how much happier I am when I'm by myself, because I can truly be who I am. I've decided that I really just don't care what others think, because that's just their opinion - not mine. When it comes to being me, I honestly could care less what other people's perceptions of me are. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.