This morning I was watching some videos, one of them was about children living in South America. Children who, at a very young age, were put to work. Instead of being able to do things that children normally do, things they enjoy. At the end of one video I heard a girl saying, ‘I like to be somebody’. Her words touched me and I thought, ‘you are somebody. You’re supposed to get all the room you need to show yourself to the word, but you ARE already somebody.’
It made me think about freedom and being yourself. Even though here, in the western world as we call it, we have so much more possibilities than that girl in South America, not all of us take the chance to be ‘somebody’ and to show who we really are.
I’m writing this because this theme of ‘being you’ and ‘finding yourself’, seems a hot topic this year. One moment I read great stories about startups and people pursuing their dreams. The next I notice a blog from Bronnie Ware, Regrets of the dying. What is it with this theme? Aren’t we ourselves? Don’t we show who we truly are? Don’t we do the things we enjoy?
For me, being myself means the freedom to do the things I want because I like them. Things that make me happy. Things that I enjoy so much that I start smiling and walk around with a big grin on my face. Like singing Christmas songs out loud, from Bing Crosby to Mariah Carey. Or going to the beach and standing there for hours. In the water, barefoot with my eyes closed listening to the waves crushing on the beach. Or when as a little girl, I marched as a baton twirler with our marching band through our village. And how proud I was when I was asked to be the majorette captain. Things I like, regardless what anybody else thinks.
It sounds so simple because, hey why not. Still, a lot of people seem to have an opinion about what somebody else is doing. Especially if you deviate from what is ‘common’ and the rest of the world is doing.
You ARE already somebody
When I look at someone, I’m sometimes not aware of what he or she is doing or saying. At that moment I just observe their eyes. When those eyes shine and I see a twinkle there, I see someone who is free and enjoying himself. I see someone who IS.
And just being, is enough. You don’t need to BECOME somebody or to change into what everyone else wants you to be. You ARE. And as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing and you don’t hurt anyone it is perfectly fine.
I like hanging out with these people. Because in those moments some of that happiness and strength rubs off on me. And it allows me to open up and show more of myself.
I recognize this theme also in my life. A year ago, I said goodbye to a permanent job in the corporate world. And 2014 became a year of discovering who I was and what it is that I really wanted to do. Communication? Although I’ve been told so many times by colleagues that I couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to write. Spirituality, by finishing my education and graduating as an aura reader? Although many people would find that vague and obscure. Or helping other people by sharing my experiences? Although that would be a major step outside my comfort zone.
The answer was easy, it was all of these things together. Because these are the things that make me happy. Things that I enjoy so much that I start smiling and walk around with a big grin on my face. These things are my gifts, my talents. And they all came together in what I did this year, starting my blog The Blue Butterfly. They are the things that were always there. It is who I’ve always BEEN.
We’re not so different, that girl in South America and me.
I remember a workshop I attended in December 2013. That day we talked about trusting ourselves and if we were able to trust our future, our desires and our dreams. At the end of the day we were asked to think about what it is we wanted most in our life and to write that down on a piece of paper. I folded that paper into a small package and kept it in a little box.
It stood on a shelf in my living room this whole year. And every time I was faced with a difficult choice, I glanced over to that little box. Today I opened it and read this wish I had written down a year ago. My biggest wish: ‘I want to be free to be me’.
Copyright picture Written in Ink (I am what I am) by Philip LePage