“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” -Judy Garland
One night, my boyfriend and I had a disagreement about something and were talking through it. With tears pouring down my face, I told him, “It’s so hard, becoming the person you’re meant to be.” I didn’t realize how much those words would upset me until I had spoken them. And it doesn’t sound scary right? But, as somebody who has put a great deal of pressure on herself ever since a young age, the weight and the expectations felt enormous.
We’re all scared of turning into somebody else, whether it be our parents or others who had a large impact in our lives. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s a completely natural feeling. Even the most perfect parents are flawed. Perhaps we are afraid of taking on their personality traits or following in their footsteps. Whatever it is, that night I had never felt so unsure of who I was as a person. I mean, what really made me….me? I certainly didn’t have the answers.
My sweet and wonderful boyfriend, bless his heart, said something that resonated so strongly with me that night. “Become who you are meant to be at the sake of other people.” WHOA. What?? I’m just supposed to go out in the world, stumbling around and being a jerkwad so I can become “who I was meant to be.” Whatever that even means. Alright everybody, calm down. Deep breaths. That is not where this post is going at all. (Thank goodness. Am I right?)
So, what does that mean then? At the end of the day, you’ll interpret it as you will, but I’ll break it down how I see it. (Or hear it I guess.) You have all these people in your life, some lovely or maybe not so lovely, some by choice and some not I suppose. You have your really awesome inner circle. We will call this your Core of Greatness, because they lift you up and make you a better you. These people are your friends and family that you couldn’t live without. College friends, siblings, parents, significant others. It can be made up of anybody really. Some may stay for awhile and some for only a bit. They are your heartbeat in this world.
So, back to the COG (Core of Greatness). And yes, I know it’s a kick ass acronym. Anyway, they live their every day lives of course but also devote a portion of time to you. Now, these people should be honest with you, but in a good way. They can tell you when you are being dramatic, or maybe a diva, or just an all around miserable person. And at first your response might be,”Well, that’s rude.” Then you list all these reasons why your actions are justified. But then, after taking a minute to think about it you realize, “Yeah. They’re right.” Hopefully, you apologize and life goes on.
Now, here is why the COG is so essential to our lives and how they shape who we become. It comes down to love. That’s it. But, this is the best kind of love. The real and unconditional stuff. They love you no matter what. Even if you look like crap and have worn the same clothes for the last 3 days while crying your eyes out over some jerkface, they will take you with open arms. (And hopefully hand you a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.) They will look at you and know when you’ve had a bad day. They will apologize when they are in the wrong and find a way to make it right. They will be there, always. Doesn’t that just make your heart go crazy? Like, what did I do to deserve these beautiful people? When I think of those people in my life, in all their craziness and silliness, I absolutely adore them.
The thing is, these people aren’t afraid to tell you the truth. They see you at your absolute worst but still know what a fantastic human being you are. Because real love is about acceptance of who we are in the present, along with faith in the person we have yet to become. It is not a judgment of our past nor a worry of what we may or may not do in the future. It is here, right now, in each and every day.
Listen closely to what these wonderful people advise, but never change at the expense of your true self. Don’t feel the need to tiptoe around them with uncertainty and risk the chance of never achieving your full potential. They were brought into your life for a reason. They will catch you and guide you, because of their unwavering faith in what you have yet to accomplish in this world. You’re going to stumble and you will definitely make a fool of yourself, probably more than once. But, my dear, it’s better to be made a fool a few times than to miss the opportunity to soar.