Life is weird, y’all. (I’m positive that no one’s going to disagree with me on that one. ha) People are also weird. And when you have 7 billion weird people living weird lives, it gets pretty…weird. So why is there this insane pressure to be what “everyone else” defines as normal and fantastic? The truth is, no one on earth can truly be “everyone else,” because we’re all different and we’re all weird. Why even try?
My parents have always had a unique perspective on this, teaching us to be independent and ourselves from very young ages. No, this did not mean we were our own authority or that we could do whatever we wanted or choose which gender we wanted to be. Far from it. It did mean they raised us without the pressure to act a certain way, dress a certain way, like certain things just because they did, etc. We were not raised with a suffocating mold that told us who we needed to be in order to be worth anything. Basically, we were amoebas until we could figure ourselves out. ha
If you look at us now (mainly the three oldest), we are all startlingly different from each other in a lot of ways except one. We have fallen in love with God and have whole-heartedly decided that this life of separation and holiness are exactly what we want. This was the one thing that our parents never budged on, and it’s the one thing we all believe so strongly. But beyond that, we are all distinct individuals. And that is celebrated in our family.
Figuring ourselves out definitely wasn’t easy. At least in my case. As both a Type One on the Enneagram and an INFJ in the MBTI, it gets complicated. Types Ones are, by instinct, perfectionist, black-and-white, mold-fitting, rule followers. INFJs are literally the rarest type, being: unique by nature, old souls, cliche haters, deep thinkers and feelers, and pave-your-own-path kinda people. Totally opposite, right? This caused frustration within myself, because as desperately as I wanted to be line up to the world’s definition of what was “perfect,” I wanted to be very much out of the box and different than anyone else. It’s taken years to finally redefine my own definition of perfect (that fits with my INFJ self), so that my Type One can finally have peace.
The key to releasing yourself from the expectations all around you, is acknowledging that you don’t have to be in the box, at all. The box isn’t some magic place that you can go and be “safe.” Becoming everyone else’s definition of perfect will not make everything okay or even better. You’ll just be miserable trying to pretend you’re something you’re not. Really, truly? My favorite kind of people have always been the ones who were so flamboyantly different than anyone else. Those people, I admire far more than any of the “in the box” people I’ve ever met. Because they have the courage to be different, and that’s quite impressive.
You be you.
That’s honestly the best advice I can give you. Only you know the part of you that you’re trying to hide–just relax, and let it be seen! Use big words, wear wacky shoes, carry around M&Ms everywhere, decide you enjoy sunsets more when you don’t post them anywhere, do that cliche thing you’ve always loved, drink tea every morning, become friends with unexpected people, wear berets and paint, laugh even when no one else is, wear whatever style your heart pleases (even if your friends don’t like it), and most of all, be you. Bravely be different. Life is way too short to try living it like everyone else!