30 November 2011
Be Who You Are. Completely.
As many of you know, I’m a nerd. I have a shitton of hobbies, interests, and things I’m generally good at. I’m also pretty damn smart. I wouldn’t say I’m a genius by any stretch of the imagination, but I have a good memory and school was always easy for me. I’m also pretty cute. So. There’s the background info.
Here’s some more: my entire life, I’ve been told not to brag. I’ve heard so many times NOT to talk about myself. Don’t talk about what you’re good at. Don’t talk about what you do. Don’t talk about being smart. Don’t tell people your talents. Don’t talk yourself up. Don’t talk about your awards, accomplishments, or experience. Don’t brag. Don’t brag.
And for goodness’ sake, don’t brag!
People hate you enough as it is because you’re good at everything, because you’re pretty, because you’re smart. SO DON’T REMIND THEM.
My whole life. That’s all I’ve ever heard.
Very few people, out of the many bazillion people I’ve met in the fourteen countries I’ve traveled to, know even half of what I’ve accomplished in life. Not many of my friends are even aware that I have a blog, let alone what I’ve posted on it. A handful of my friends from high school know about my music, a few more remember my knack for linguistics. I think one year I was voted most artistic or something like that. However, I can probably count on both hands the number of people who can name at least 2/3 of my hobbies, interests, and talents and yet who also know who I am.
And today? I just got told, by three very authoritative figures in my current job the exact opposite of what I’ve always been told by everyone else, ever. These three men said: Talk yourself up. If you don’t tell people what you can do, we don’t know. If we don’t know, we’ll think you’re mediocre. We’ll think you’re just like everyone else.
And then we’ll overlook you.
So here’s my advice for the day, dear readers. If you’re special, be special. Don’t let someone tell you not to shine your brightest. Don’t ever let someone tell you—no matter how close to you she is—to be less than yourself to make other people feel more comfortable, or to make them like you more. People will like you or not like you, and it’s completely arbitrary, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So just be yourself.
The world doesn’t need more mediocrity, and if the Army has taught me anything, it’s that perception = reality. If you try to blend in with the rabble, you become the rabble. Let yourself stand out and live up to your full potential. If you don’t, who will?