Being Uniquely Me

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland

I spent most of my life trying to be anyone but me. I’d surround myself with people that were fun. I’d involve myself with their interests and activities. I was so busy living through and for other people that I didn’t know how to feel for myself. I didn’t know where they ended and I began. I was unable to separate into my own being. I was unaware of my own values, needs, and desires. It wasn’t that I didn’t like myself; I just didn’t know myself. I had no idea that I had been lost, so looking for me wasn’t even an option at that time.

Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep. ~Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, 1750

 

There came a point in my life that I felt something was missing. There was a void I tried to fill with people, activities, education, and hobbies. No matter how busy I became, I still felt empty. It was then I started searching. For what, I didn’t know. I became involved in organized religion, and for a while I was satisfied. The more I found, the more I wanted. I started pulling out the spiritual truths within myself. I recognized glimpses of someone vaguely familiar. I realized there was someone more than a wife, mother, daughter, sister, or friend within me. Someone with her own feelings and ideas.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings

 

I became stifled with fear, afraid of what I’d find if I kept looking. I was fearful of appearing different or self-serving. I was overly concerned about other people judging me. It was somewhere along that path that I began to understand that I was the only one that could make me happy. And how was I ever going to be truly happy if I didn’t know who I was? It takes courage to search, and it takes courage to accept what you find. It takes audacity to be authentic.

Learn to… be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not. ~Henri Frederic Amiel

 

I feared abandonment, yet I’d abandoned myself. What point in my life had I buried my identity? Where had I gone? Did I ever really exist? I have not always been happy with the truths I’ve discovered about myself. But only I have the power to rewrite my story. I embrace the parts of me that are pleasing, and I acknowledge and work on changing the parts that aren’t. Now, that I have welcomed myself, I am home.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius

 

Having comfort with one’s own soul, to rest in solitude, is the beginning of peace. I didn’t find myself or peace within a day, a week, or a month. Not even a year. It has taken years of soul searching. It is a continuing process. I am creating my own tapestry.

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein

 

67 thoughts on “Being Uniquely Me

  1. There you go, it takes us so long to get comfortable and accept who we are without worry of what others think, it sure feels good to be there.

  2. Getting through the jungle to finally find ourselves can be challenging, frightening, enlightening and just flat out hard work that takes a lot of time. We are all works in progress, malleable pieces of clay that take a lifetime to grow into ourselves.

  3. I agree that it’s a conintuing process. A hard one. But sometimes a fun one as well. When I recognize the things I need to work on or improve or change all together? It’s like a challenge. I like challenges. And when I recognize a bit of good in myself? I smile. I want to share.

    I think you’re a wonderful example of a person, Suzicate. You have a lot of heart, and you know how to share it.

  4. I have asked all the same questions myself and have come to the conclusion that we only start to get the answers when we reach middle age. The key is to enjoy the discovery, embrace what you find and live for today while you have your health.

  5. Many wonderful ways of saying the same thing. I love:

    “Being Uniquely Me” “I am creating my own tapestry.” ~ You

    “We are all works in progress, malleable pieces of clay that take a lifetime to grow into ourselves.” ~Carol

    “The key is to enjoy the discovery, ” ~Susie

    Such a wonderful post, and such wonderful comments. I love that we can choose to keep learning and growing and becoming.

  6. and what a beautifu tapestry it is…smiles. it is a process, sometimes slow, the journey toward loving who we are and who we are becoming…

  7. “It takes audacity to be authentic.” – I love this sentence. It’s so true. And it’s so hard – a long process that definitely doesn’t come in a day and that takes courage and dedication and awareness.

    I loved this post. I’m experiencing a lot of the same questions you asked yourself and the difficulty realizing that you’re living for others, and your words and experience give me hope that I can figure myself out eventually too.

  8. I learn something new every day, and I learn something new about myself every day. I believe we find ourselves each day as we grow older, and I let God help me to grow into the person He wants me to be, not what others think I should be. I have never been one not even as a child to care what others thought about me. My mother taught me as a child, everyone has their own opinions, but the only important opinion is what I thought about myself. She also taught me the only one I had to answer to when my life on earth ends, is God. Nobody on earth is perfect so therefore we all can stand to do some soul searching, and change the things about us that needs changing, and the things we can not change by ourselves to be willing to ask God to help us.

    Suzicate, this is a beautiful and touching story about yourself that you have penned. I would like to say before each of us was born God had a purpose plan for each of our lives. When you started writing your amazing stories about your life experiences and stepped forward sharing them with others, you truly found your purpose in life. I have read many stories, including my own, but I have not found any to be any more beautiful than yours. It is in the way you tell them that brings them to life. It is like we have a front row seat watching you as you learn and grow. I am very sure that you have touched many lives by sharing your wonderful God given talent. God has many awards waiting for you when your journey on life is over. Keep penning those awesome words my beautiful friend.

  9. Hi SuziCate, I have been looking forward to reading this post and you did not disappoint, no you did not. My favorite quote, which I was thinking along the lines of just reading your first paragraph, is that it takes courage to be who you are. It really does take so much courage and I think self confidence to not only be happy in your own skin but also not worry about presenting the real you to the world, just be who you are and if people like that then good and if not, then no problem. As I get older I am less concerned with what others think of me, but am finding that I do need to be concerned with what I think of me. I am a work in progress, but am making changes and feeling better all the time.

    I am glad you are finding yourself too, as you say, it really is an ongoing and unfolding process.

  10. I loved the way you connected to these beautiful quotes to share what you were expressing to the reader…. very lovely. And yes, discovery of self is such an ongoing process; I’m just glad we have this
    medium available to share or talk it out with ourselves through the writing. Heartspell

  11. The first look never seems quite deep enough. It takes awhile in front of the full length mirror of time to see ourselves completely if we even have the courage to look. If I truly look into another person eyes it’s really just a tiny mirror there reflecting my own flaws back.
    I never make much sense as is evident here but in my own mind I hear me. You’re words encourage me to keep watching and listening.

  12. Oh, Suzie…this post made me want to applaude!!!

    You shared such a plethora of truth here.

    This is one of those posts that I could read over and over again because it reminds me of things I often forget.

    LOVED all the quotes, but the Judy Garland one touched me the most. She was right!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, dear lady!

    THANK YOU!

    (((( Suziecate )))))

    Have a wondeful weekend!

    X

  13. I spent way too many years absorbed in everyone else’s passions and enthusiasms. And in what they expected from me being a real “pleaser” personality. Now being authentic to myself is priority…even though it seems selfish on the surface. Wish I was 19 again and know what I know now! Great post, thought provoking and affirming. Kudos!

  14. I found myself nodding and saying “Yes, yes, yes” throughout this beautifully written post. I see so much of my own life reflected in your words. I just hope I get to this place you have: “Now that I have welcomed myself, I am home.” Thanks for this piece today, Suzicate.

    • Kristen, You’ll get there. It just takes time. I think it really had come much with the comfort of middle age. Never stop searching and be willing to accept what you find.

  15. dear suzicate,….this is a wonderful and moving post. I usually read quickly. Not this time. This time I read slowly, picking up on all your points. Now, I don’t know whether or not God has anything to do with the cards that are dealt out to each of us, only God knows that. But what I do know is that our time on earth is finite and we must ‘seize the day”, carpe diem. More often than not we don’t do this until much time has passed. More often than not we just sort of accept that another day has elapsed and so what. When we are young we play in the sea of infinite youth, not noticing, or caring that the tide of life turns with the seasons. At a certain point, maybe the passing of a beloved one, maybe the union of marriage or a profound partnership imitating the union, maybe suddenness of children growing up and the passing of high school and then college, things change, they morph, perhaps there is a ‘sameness’ a thing inside of us that says “you are still the same you’… but we know better. The clock ticks, the mirror tries not to lie but sometimes, changing to often, fails…. and all to soon we take stock, looking to the past or to the future, yet knowing that one of those is gone forever, the other now threatens to arrive too fast. I absorbed everything you said here Suzi and my admiration for your way of setting out your thoughts, focussing on the things that are so relevant, continues to grow. I was once asked by someone to write something from a woman’s point of view, a mother’s point of view. As a writer I felt I could do that. One of the first thing always to remember is that wonderful statement of fact that Doctor Seuss had Horton say … “a person’s a person, no matter how small”.. and that’s the precise point he was making… we are all people in our own right, no matter what our gender is, no matter what our background is. In showing us YOU, in your excellent post, you bring home the fact that we all are unique and it’s the finding out WHO we are that underlines this point, but the road to discovery can be a long one and I think you have dealt with this lucidly and wonderfully in your post. I am so very moved by all that you have said and humbly thanks you for sharing your thoughts,

    John

    • John, I am truly touched by your comment. I think I spent the larger part of my life fitting into other people’s boxes and not accepting what was not the norm, including myself. It has taken many years to embrace the uniqueness of all of us. We are all created differently and together we make beautiful music. We all have contributions. But I think our contributions can be far greater when when realize where they are coming from. It gives us a sense of where to go with it. It’s hard to love and accept others if one does not love and accept himself. As vain as it may sound to some, the best thing we can do for mankind is to love ourselves.

  16. OMG! Excellent post! so many people do this- we get caught up in labels, in who we are supposed to be- in who the world expects us to be. I went through the same process, and am still going through it! I’m just now learning who I am. I think age has a lot to do with it. Someone told me native americans consider you a girl til you’re 50- because wisdom takes that long to really form. I still have 12 years, and I’m happy to be gaining wisdom with my years- and gaining me. I am glad you shared this with us.

    • I love that about the Native Americans; they are very wise. I think the process takes most of us about that long to get there. Some have no idea they’re not there because they’ve never questioned.

  17. I could’ve written this myself. Most of us are more alike then we know. I’m glad we pushed through the fear! (your package is on the way – woo hoo!)

  18. It takes audacity to be authentic! Love it!

    It takes lots of hard work and giving up on what we think people want from us. Too be ourselves (whatever that my be) is freeing!

  19. Awesome post. We do all seem to be searching for something, something about ourselves that’s missing, or not quite right, or almost there. It’s nice to receive affirmation that it IS an ongoing process. It’s not something that happens quickly. And that we need to learn to be okay with that.

  20. beautifully said, honest open, be and say who you are….true freedom and peace……bkm

  21. Wow! I can really relate to this.

    It’s taken a while, but it feels so good and freeing to get to a place where you say “I CAN’T care what others think or even say about me.” It will destroy you otherwise.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s something that needs to be worked on everyday, as I still struggle now and again, but to know that in finding that something, that person, that you, you’re letting go of everyone elses views and opinions and just living YOUR life, after all, isn’t that the life we’re supposed to be living.

    Great post!

    P.S. Thank you so much for your kind words on my site!

    xxx

  22. Oh this post is a treasure trove – full of so many valuable reminders and lessons. I’ll be coming back to this one to make sure I absorb everything.

  23. I am happy that through all the experiences and the layers you have weaved out who you are, and are still making that tapestry more vivid each day.
    For me, I have always known who I am since entering earth and have always lived freely as I am, and have done what I felt, and have always felt different from that regard, as everywhere I turned I saw fear in people’s eyes including that of my own family, so I was always very detached and independent from them, being who I truly was on the inside. This understanding also stemmed from my appreciation of life itself in existence and all the elements in nature. From this I have always been a lover of all things and people and like to spread my love with all to bring out their ultimate light.
    Many blessings of love to you on your path.
    It is wonderful to be reading your thoughts, experiences and breathing in your being through this wonderful medium. 🙂

    • That is a beuatiful gift to have always known who you are not try to be who everyone wanted you to be. It’s a long lonely but rewarding journey for those in search of themselves.

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