Be Who You Are
Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr Suess
This post will probably be shorted than the original one I wrote but Squarespace crashed and I stupidly had written it straight in, does this ever happen to anyone else?!
Anyway I have been struggling for things to write because of a post-university confidence crisis, and so I turned to a book that has been many a source of inspiration: The Little Book of Happiness. The quote above was today’s offering, which fitted neatly with my experiences yesterday.
I attended my high school reunion, an event which I was very nervous about since everyone else has cool jobs in London and I have just graduated and am living at home with no jobs plans as of yet. The night before at a family event I was asked, quite understandably, what I was doing over and over again and so it was a touchy subject but one that was unavoidable. But later I ended up having a heartfelt conversation with a friend I probably haven’t seen in the five years since we left about social anxiety and the fears we had of pursuing friendship and being who we were. Then later another old friend talked to me about some mean behaviour from some others towards him. At school he had often, unfairly, been the butt of people’s jokes, and now he is highly successful and should be proud of that, but they couldn’t be happy for him. They still had to be mean, but of course by our friend Dr. Suess’ logic they don’t matter.
Meanwhile I was on the edge of a panic attack last night, but for the first time ever managed to control my breathing and get back to enjoying my night. I hate clubbing for it ramps up my anxiety, but I went along to be with my friends. They were truly wonderful when I confided in them about my heightened anxiety and one wonderful person in particular took me on a walk until I calmed down. Never before have I managed to lessen the adrenaline and go back to having a good night, it felt so powerful. However if I hadn’t said how I felt to them I probably would have gone into a full blown panic attack because holding it in only makes it worse.
All this to say that it is when we are truly who we are and allow others to be themselves that meaningful connection is born. At university I learnt how to be my authentic self with people, and it was thrilling to discover that I could do the same with my school friends too. We are who we are, and we should be happy and proud of that.