Have you ever walked through the self-help section of a bookstore, and wondered why there were so many books that teach you to be more like others but none that tell others how to be more like you? If not, congratulations, society, at large, loves you as you are. But for some of us less lucky ones, or just me, it is not as easy discovering ourselves, that we do not fit into any of the prescribed moulds, and having to choose to remain faithful to who we are although it supposedly means we are not destined for conventional success.
What if I never intended to join this never ending race – labelled “prestigious”, where one inevitably ends up disqualified by death.
In others’ mad rush to get ahead, I get overwhelmed by the crowd and allow myself to be jostled into the throng. I then run to avoid being trampled upon myself and once I am safe from that threat, I lose myself wondering how I ended up where I am. To this day, I still get stressed over exams or competitions simply because my classmates fight for it. When I get a chance to take a step back, I realise again that I do not enjoy the competition and am more interested in just learning.
However, there is no need to limit myself to categories like being mainstream or not. If I were ever to find causes I want to fight for, it should be okay to pursue them without being labelled ‘fake’ or ‘pretentious’ because I previously showed dislike for competition in other situations. For example, I do enjoy the thrill of competitive running and the satisfaction of post-training fatigue. I will explore this topic more in Who Am I? Influence vs Pressure.
“Oh so you are okay with being mainstream when you’re good at it?”, who ever said I was good at running and bad at academics? It also does not mean that aspiring to be a top surgeon is not a legitimate goal, it just happens that for me, it would not be passion but others’ elevated view of me that drives me towards this goal.
But many do not understand. They think they are doing well by me when they prod and push me to be adopt the form of a sprinter when all I want to run is cross country. Just because we are both running athletes, people assume I would want to emulate the faster runner. Just because we are both students, teachers assume I would like to learn from an organised classmate. No, maybe I am okay with being messy, with doing my homework last minute because I have other passions. Maybe I want to run, read, play the guitar, laugh at bad puns and live life. Maybe I learn better in a mess than with rigid timetables.
This situation is similar to the story of a father, a son and a donkey, there is no way to please everyone so you do you even if it pleases no one else and do not impose your ideals on others ♥ spread love not patronization.
In Who Am I? (Part I), I listed a list of what makes me me. Now, I feel as though it is hard to truly be myself because of external opinion because what I’m after may not exactly be conventional. I reflected on it and this is what I came up with, I guess it’s more of a rant? and for everyone else out there in a similar predicament, you are not alone 🙂
I understand some of my posts lack quality towards the end. It’s just I have so many ideas that I get excited to start and I kind of lose my train of thought amongst the jumble of unexpressed material in my brain. Thanks for bearing with me xx