How to be “common” and still stand out.
One thing I’ve realized as I get older and more secure in who I am is; Finding my identity is a journey that cannot be rushed. I’ve changed, transformed and evolved over the years, and I’m sure this vessel that’s carrying this woman I was, and will become has more transformations in store. We are not monolithic, and should not be made to believe that we have to adhere to labels, stories and caricatures of who we are. Uniqueness is not a weakness.
I never saw myself as particularly pretty growing up. Ever wanting to blend in instead of standing out (a losing battle); it took me a very long time to embrace this quirky, person that wanted to come out. Much like many of the people I’ve met who genuinely struggle fit the mold; I was very badly bullied in grade school and middle school in Greece. I felt lesser, I felt ugly I felt stupid and I recycled these images of myself as someone who had absolutely nothing to offer. This is not uncommon among young teens all over the world. We all have heard the stories. Young boys and girls who were locked in this cycle of pleasing others, seeming normal and not ever discovering their true identity until in some cases it’s too late.
I’m not a “normal woman, and in reality who is?
One of the things I tell people struggling to find their voice (as I did for years), is that whatever is considered strange or not normal about them makes them incredibly unique. Not in the “we’re all special” type of unique, but in: being able to reflect our own personal perspective on the vastness of conformity, normalizing and image making that surrounds us.
We’re all bombarded by lifestyles, examples of what’s pretty, what’s attractive, whats beautiful, what’s manly, what’s feminine and what’s acceptable behavior and ultimately what passes for “normal”. This rings even more loudly for women, who have been constantly told who, what, in what way and how often they should exist. Hiding behind titles of description was never my strong suit.
We are not monolithic, and should not be made to believe that we have to adhere to labels, stories and caricatures of who we are. Uniqueness is not a weakness.
Existing, defining, redefining and allowing ourselves to be who we are is not and will not be dictated by anyone else. Sure we all may need guideposts, ideas, and inspiration but the allowance of personal identity CANNOT be scripted by anyone else but US.
So GO ahead.
Show us who you really are.
Featured Image ( on the heading) taken by: Robert Valenzuela, who is a gifted photographer, war veteran and all around crazy guy. Please give him a follow on Instagram : @the3rdrealm
If you want to make a difference; I recently came across the Born This Way Foundation and will be donating on the day of the last post of the series (March, 27Th). If you care to join me; log on, donate and make a difference to young people struggling to find their way.