A few months ago we had a girl visiting our high school and doing a presentation about studying abroad. She was the same age as my classmates and I and she said she was applying for medical studies in the UK and in Denmark (at least I think so). That presentation was not very new to me since I myself am planning to apply to some universities in Scotland. But what really amazed me was how 99 percent of my classmates were totally depressed because of that girl. She had already been to some countries in Asia to volunteer and she appeared to be very smart. Her whole personality just seemed to be very strong.
My friend said that he found her quite annoying but I really liked her. She knew what she wanted and she followed her dream. But my other classmates were totally crushed. They said they were nothing in comparison with her, they said they didn’t even know what to do with their life meanwhile she had done so much. They even tried to blame her school which is claimed to be expensive and good and her parents who were doctors (if I remember it correctly).
And that’s where I stopped and I thought to myself – why do I like this girl and others don’t? Why do I feel inspired by her and others depressed? And a few days ago, I saw two TED Talks (I freaking love TED Talks and these two were called The art of being yourself by Caroline McHugh and The person you really need to marry by Tracy McMillan.) and I think I finally solved the puzzle.
It wasn’t because I also wanted to study abroad and so my goald were similar to hers. It wasn’t because I had been to some competitions in the things I like and I hadn’t failed. I was okay with that girl because I knew one thing. She was who she was and I am who I am. It’s simple as that. And that’s what The art of being yourself is about. I will never have the chance to be that girl or anybody else. I will always be ME. And you, the person reading this, will always be YOU.
What does it matter if that girl has been to Nepal and you haven’t? What does it matter if that boy is 6 years old and he’s already a better singer than you are? What does it matter if you’re not Einstein? You were born to be YOU, not somebody else. And if you want to be truly happy, you just need to accept it. In my opinion, one of the keys to happiness is acceptance. Accepting the conditions you are in and dealing with them if you cannot change them, accepting your failures and trying to be better next time, and last but not least, accepting yourself. You may never be the best musician in the world and you may never have the IQ of 150 (and for the record, IQ is not THAT important), but you are you and you have your own borders and goals. The only thing you have to do in your life is to conquer your goals, to cross your own borders, to follow your dreams and to be YOU as much as you can. You want to be fit as the girl next to you? Well, you can never be HER or the same as her. But you can try to be better at being yourself. And if you want to be fit, not because that girl is but because you want it for yourself, then try it. Try to reach the new levels of YOU, try to explore the new layers of your personality that you didn’t even know were there. Because, once again, the best thing you can do in life is being YOU just the way you are happy with it.
I know that’s hard for many people. It had taken me a long time until I became content with myself as well. And so here comes the second TED Talk, The person you really need to marry by Tracy McMillan. She says she has been divorced 4 times (or 3 times? I’m not sure) and she has always been searching for the right person to marry. But she has never found anyone. And the reason is simple. If you want to find another person to love and to live with, you cannot want them just because you NEED them. The saying that your partner is your other half is not true, at least I don’t agree with it. Because I’ve been through this. I was always looking for someone to complete me because I never felt whole. I felt like there was a piece of me missing and I needed someone to fill that hole (that sounds weird). And when I found that someone, I became obssesed with him. I needed him more and more but the hole was only getting bigger and bigger (also weird). In the end, I didn’t even feel like I had some personality at all. My whole existence was based on the existence of somebody else and that’s not okay. I wasn’t happy. And when I lost that person, it felt like I lost the whole world.
But after more than a year I’m sitting in a cafe, happy, and I realise that if you feel like there’s a piece of you missing, it’s not because you don’t have anyone to love you. It’s because you don’t love yourself. And that’s a hard thing to do. But you need to realise that YOU are the closest person you will ever have. Nobody will ever be this close to you as yourself.
So who should you marry? I think you already figured this out. Yes. Before you marry someone else, you should marry yourself at first. It doesn’t have to be a ritual or anything. It’s just you and you, after all.
The thing is that when you marry someone else, you love them for their personality and despite their faults. You love them for who they are. And when you marry yourself, there is no difference. You have your own faults, you may be awkward (I am, definitely), you may be always late, you may have more or less weight than you would like to have, you may be cranky in the morning. But you married this person. And these are the things that make this person who s/he is, no matter if they are good or bad.
When you marry someone else, you can divorce them whenever you want. But when you marry yourself, the oath is real. Till death do us part. You will be with yourself literally for the rest of your life. You can’t just leave or divorce yourself. You can just accept and love yourself.
And you don’t need to envy others, you don’t need to compare yourself to others. Because they are they and you are you. You will never be them and, that’s the magic, nobody will ever be YOU.