I don’t know about you, but when I was in high school I kept trying to be someone different than I was. I remember one day where I decided this: ‘today I am going to be completely cool. I won’t be the yakking dork I usually am; I will be quietly and undeniably cool, and not let anything bother me. Today I’m going to be in charge of my emotions and not let anything get under my skin.’
So, how’d that go, you may ask? Not well—not well at all. Within mere seconds of walking into my homeroom, this happened: I tripped over my own big feet and dropped my books and purse, which immediately vomited up its contents, including my bright yellow tube of pimple cream, which landed at the feet of the handsome foreign exchange student from Spain. He gallantly handed it to me, saying in his charming accent, “Thees is yours, no?”
My face was flaming as I muttered my thanks amidst laughter from the class. All day long people would sidle up to me, saying, “Thees is yours, no?” and laughing their heads off. So much for being cool, calm and collected!
But in our youth we seldom know who we are, and we try out different personalities in an effort not to be who we believe we are. It is a rare young person who is confident in their own skin; generally it takes years to do so. However, whether we like it or not, we are who we are for a reason and a purpose. We may initially see real or imagined flaws in ourselves, but generally we grow out of most of it. In our youth, we are often unaware of the gifts we bring to the table. It takes time to find them, and often longer to appreciate them.
It took me a long time to believe that people around me liked me for who I was; family excluded of course. It was my family who kept telling me and showing me how much they loved me for simply being me. It took me years and years to realize that I had valuable gifts to share–and to believe in them.
This has been my experience, and yours may be different. But what we all share is that we are here not by chance, but for a purpose. You may be reading this and think, ‘well, I’m nothing special–I don’t have any gifts.’ Respectfully, that just isn’t so. You may not see what you have to give, but others do. You may not believe that you are anything but ordinary; your family and friends would disagree. Your life touches many, whether you speak to people, shake their hands, email them, or join an online forum. Your influence and personality touches others, and we may never know the impact that we have on others.
Do not doubt that you are here at this time to fully be the person you were born to be—who you are matters deeply.