I can only ever tell my own stories and speak from a place of my truth. I have been drowning in societal expectations. Realy drowning though. Drowning in inner discomfort and feelings of deep set fear, anxiety and helplessness. I realised halfway through last year where all of these feelings came from.
I have never been one to fit, but then again who is? Who truly fits in? Are we not all unique? All through my life I have battled this feeling of being ‘different’ as if ‘different’ were a bad thing that needed changing, modifying or eradication.
As I grow older, fuller, more into myself, I see that my difference is my strength. I can learn to nurture it like a superpower. Classifications, stereotypes and statistical definitions, what I am and who I should be, have been slowly brainwashing me, diluting my purpose and leading me to a place of inner anxiety.
Finally, I am learning to find, create and surround myself with a consciousness that acknowledges me for me. Sees my difference and shines a light on it. We all deserve to be in the light, hiding nothing, ashamed of nothings. Just being, breathing and glowing in our own unique way.
I understand that there are definitions and classifications and statistics in order for practicality, but do we need to use these fixed ideas for a thing as malleable as life? I say no. I say, allow yourself to step out of the fear of exposure. Expose yourself to life so that you can choose from it all the things you love the most and own them for yourself.
Who is your community? Does everyone there look like you? What are your practices are they your’s because you chose them or because they were given to you? Are you happy? Do you share your whole self with those people who mean the most to you? Do you have people who mean the most to you?
I was beginning to realise that my answer to all of these questions were lacking in some way. In every facet of my life, I was lacking. My self-representation was based on a norm that suits me stereotypically. My relationship was based on a norm that society set for me. My friendships were based on a structure that our history had created for me. My response to the world, my happiness, my anger. The list goes on.
Last year I began exposing myself to things that did not statistically and stereotypically belong to me or my life. I have been exposing myself to languages, religions, cultures people and foods that, society would say, did not belong to me. But I am exposed and now I know more, see more, hear more, learn more and am more.
Most importantly I AM MORE. I am more free, more awake, less boxed in, more free to create my true self. So many of us are filled with social anxiety, fear and insecurity purely because we do not fit the societal norm. We are society. We can change the norms. Be brave enough.
Expose yourself to more. There is really nothing to be afraid of, nothing other than yourself I suppose. There is someone, somewhere out there feeling and thinking exactly what you feel and think. Find them. Expose yourself.