It is ok to be you.
This is not the prevailing message in our culture, regardless of all the after-school specials that tell us differently. We get a lot of flack for being ourselves. There is constant pressure to look like someone else, like what someone else likes, hate what someone else hates, do what someone else does, etc.
But this is ridiculous.
I don’t know if you are aware that you are the only you that exists. Right now, on this planet, you are the only person walking around with your features, personality, likes, dislikes, family, and friends. And that fact is important.
That means there are people in your life that only you can love the way they need to be loved. There are colors, artwork, houses, clothing and sunsets that perhaps only you will appreciate. There are solutions only you will think of as you encounter obstacles with your unique resources. Those people who first thought of all those genius fixes that we use everyday (chip clips, refrigerator magnets, organizational calendars, bendy hair clips, infinity scarves, shoe strings) were people just like you and me, but they saw the world from their own unique vantage point. (Whoever thought of using a rubberband as an early pregnancy solution to jeans that are too tight before maternity pants will fit, you are a genius!)
If you are a parent, only you can parent your kids like you.
Are you a teacher? Only you can influence those students in this subject to dig deeper and get excited.
Whatever you do, you can use your unique view of the world to add to your environment and the lives of those you encounter.
Those other people we are supposed to emulate? They already exist, making their contribution to the world, or not. That is their responsibility: to make their difference with what they have.
Make your difference. Be yourself, because no one else can.
Now, that’s refreshing.