I have the tendency to write a blog post writing about ‘you’, whoever ‘you’ may be. I talk about how to improve yourself, how to build your healthy habits, how to do this and that. Yet, most of the time I am writing to myself. I simply address it to ‘you’ in an effort to give the best advice I want to give myself but am maybe hesitant or afraid to listen to. In fact, sometimes I take a look back at posts I wrote months ago and wonder… did I write that? How can it sound so foreign to me, yet it’s published on my blog?
I earlier read another blog post by Jeffrey over at ‘The Art of Great Things’ and there was, and still is, an incessant chatter in my head going on. Jeffrey talks in his entry about the concept of ‘Personal Branding’ on blogs and, as someone with a blog, I could identify greatly with many of the things he talked about.
I took a step back and reflected about the concept of ‘Personal Branding’ as to how it applies to my personal ‘offline’ life as well. I remember growing up and thinking that it was weird how people labeled themselves. I thought it was a very strange concept feeling entitled to identify yourself by titles, whatever they would be. Some people would call themselves professionals. Others would decide they were mature, while others would say they were goth or emo, etc. I never felt like I was enough of something to belong to its category, yet in an effort to join the ranks of labeled people I started looking for things that would somehow describe me. Now sometimes I think of myself in certain ways — MIT Engineering graduate, consulting analyst, independent, conscious eater (sometimes), etc.
The problem is, what about when what I truly want to do doesn’t fit that idea of myself I have created and projected? What happened about the whole concept I had as a child of simply doing what I truly wanted? What about those blissful days in which I would walk out of the door and get dirty playing with mud simply because I felt that right then and there, it was the perfect mud for me to play with?
The more I define who I am, the less freedom I have to simply BE. To simply be whatever I want to be at the moment, and enjoy the pleasures offered to me NOW. Instead, I feel pressure about dating the right people at the right time so that others don’t judge me. Or maybe I have felt pressure to continue something longer than I wanted simply to not let others down. Or maybe I’m afraid to reveal to someone that I am gay, simply because I don’t know how they will react.
I cannot determine to what extent my own image of who I think I should be has been dictating my behavior. It wouldn’t matter to me, but I have this discomfort down inside that tells me that I need to reassess the notions I have about myself, and determine what truly makes me happy. I have recently felt threatened by the suggestion that I’m not mature, since this was suggested by someone close to me. I responded by trying to prove my maturity, and this by itself should have proven to me that I have much maturing to do. And although now I realize that, I wonder, how much nicer would that day have been if I hadn’t even been bothered by the comment about my maturity? What if I didn’t identify so closely with the thought of being mature that I let someone’s opposing view spoil my day? Wouldn’t it be better if we stop worrying about people’s thoughts about us and rather focus our energy in enjoying the moment?
Yet as I write all this, I can’t help but wonder… am I being judged for writing this?