It's pretty easy to be yourself when everyone accepts you.
Listen While You Read: She's A Rebel By: Green Day
What do we do when being ourselves isn't the most obvious choice?
By: Tess Stevens
Be yourself! Sounds easy right?
Those little motivational posters that pepper the walls in elementary schools preach things like forgiveness, tolerance, self respect, motivation and determination. They stare at you all through your high school years too. They follow you to the workplace in the Afterlife and everyone assumes that you just know what they mean.
But you don't.
This sort of bullshit mentality regarding what it means to be a "good productive person" has always plagued me. We live under a guise of cliches. "Be yourself" is number one. Whenever someone asks a celebrity what their advice for younger people is it's always, "Be yourself."
But how do you do that? How do you do that when everyone's trying to shove you into one category or another. How do you create original things if people are trying to get you to follow their path, their way of life, or engage in their interests?
In school they tell us to study hard and make our own choices, and then they shove a standardized test in our face, challenging us to think like everyone else or suffer the consequences.
Our friends tell us they support us but they insist their way of doing things is better, often shaming us when we stray from the pack or make our own decisions.
The media praises those who follow certain standards and uphold certain ideals, but when someone is "themself" they jump on the bandwagon and support them too.
Everywhere you look this notion of being an individual is hitting you in the face, but what does that really mean?
Who are we?
The only way to find out is to decide for yourself. Being an individual is harder than one might think. I tend to believe that we are a combination of every person and thing we love. Your interests define who you are. What your actions are on a day to day basis defines who you are, not the sayings and cliches that are supposed to encourage you.
Life is full of little ironies and being yourself is one of them. Live how you want, like what you like and never look to standards for answers.