E. E. Cummings once said “it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ” Nowadays, teenagers face a lot of problems; piles of homework and exams, family stress, and friendship problems. But I think the biggest problem of teenage life is having a hard time accepting who you are. Let me tell you a little bit story of my life. The story begins in kindergarten when I remember I asked, actually begged my mom to buy me roller skate shoes because a lot of my friends wore that and I wanted to be as cool as them. Eventually, the problem continued until primary school.
I had a good friend and one day, she caused troubles and people started talking behind her back. I didn’t know what to do; should I stay by her side or gossip about her too? Being a kid I am, I chose the latter. Why? I had to do a wrong thing because I wanted other people to accept me so badly. But I could honestly said, three years I spend on secondary school was the worst. I looked at people around me and I kept on thinking to myself “why are they so pretty? ” or “why do they have nice bodies? ” These little thoughts gathered around my head every day.
You see, when you start to point out your flaws one by one, you will eventually dislike yourself or even worse, hate yourself, which happened to me. The urge to be desperately liked by everyone else left me feeling empty. However, I made a dramatic internal shift in high school. Because of a newfound faith, I felt that I had a responsibility to begin living my life in a way that reflected who I really was. Small decision by decision, I began to act with the courage to be me. I began to do things that I love such as theatre or swimming and my life is on the right path.
And today, I’m standing here telling you the importance of being who you are. Think about a flower garden. It is beautiful because there are many kinds of flowers; white lilies, red roses, pink tulips, and so on. If there is only one kind of flower, the garden will be boring. The same goes for all of you. If you are the same as other people surround you, how would you differentiate others? In order to be yourself, you must grow a backbone and have thick skin. No one knows what makes you truly need to be happy other than yourself.
This is an important concept to realize because you will never please yourself if you are constantly trying to please other people instead. You need to stand up for what you believe in and try to express your uniqueness daily. For example, now I have a habit of taking close-up pictures. It might look silly and weird, but there’s nothing wrong with being who I am. Second of all, have confidence. One thing that I’ve learned in the past 15 years I have lived is that there will always be those people who try to look down on you. Try not to worry about them and keep your chin up!
One way is to smile. It improves on how you look and will boost your happiness. Lastly, it’s important to love yourself unconditionally because if you don’t, you will never have motivation to do things your heart desire. You don’t want to follow other people’s path and not be content at the end, do you? So remember, it doesn’t matter if some people think you’re crazy when you first begin putting your soul on display. As long as you are happy because you are doing what you love, everything else will soon fall into place. Just be yourself, that is all you need.