I Don’t Want to Be Like You

Somewhere along the span of my life, I got the message that who I was wasn’t okay. At the time I believed that without question. So I began a journey to try to change into the person I thought I was supposed to be. That person is you.

You are outspoken, charismatic, tidy, productive. In your closet the hangers all face the same direction and clothes are arranged by color. You love getting up early and checking things off your ‘To Do’ list. Sleeping in feels like you’ve wasted the day. You go nuts for a good organizational system. You have it all together. Or at least I think you do.

I am introspective, messy, a night person. I can completely ignore dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, an unmade bed (it’s a superpower, really). I love to read and could spend hours lost in a book. My ‘organizational system’ consists of piles and post-it notes. I tend to over think things and am a bit neurotic.

I used to think there was something wrong with me that I needed to change. I’ve read the books, taken the classes, participated in the programs all in an effort to be like you. The person I’m supposed to be. Someone I think other people and society at large will approve of.

But I’m not that person. I think those are great traits and if the above describes you that’s awesome! But it’s not me. And it takes an inordinate amount of physical, mental and emotional energy to continue to strive for it. Not to mention, it’s hard to be happy when you’re always trying to be something you’re not.

Society and the media paint this picture of the optimal person. We see phrases like 10 tips to getting more organized, how to make friends and influence people, the early bird gets the worm. Wait. What? I don’t even want a worm. And if I did, I figure out a way to find that little sucker oh say, late afternoon or so.

All those sayings and instructions and lists did for me is help me buy into the belief that I’m not okay the way I am. That there’s something I need to fix. And I’ve been on a mission to do just that!

But I’ve realized that was a mistake. And frankly, a great big waste of time! As Ralph Waldo Emerson so beautifully said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

So I’m giving up the quest. I’m outing myself right here, right now! Guess what? There’s nothing wrong with me.

This is not merely about self-acceptance. It’s so much more than that. This is about embracing, celebrating, and just plain rocking the shit out of who I really am. I don’t want to be like you. I just want to be me…messy, neurotic, amazing me.

……………

I’d love to hear your comments below. If you liked this post, then please ‘Like’ it and share with your friends. And don’t forget to click ‘Follow’ to get email notifications whenever I post something new. But most of all…thank you for reading and being a part of my journey.

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meagan
    May 01, 2013 @ 11:42:17

    YAY!! That sounds like a breakthrough! There IS nothing to fix. Help books begone. It’s just about accepting and being who you are, and allowing yourself to feel content / centered with YOU!

    Reply

  2. Donna
    May 02, 2013 @ 10:33:56

    So freakin’ awexome Shannon. I love this post, I love your realization, I love the line – I don’t want to be like you….I want to be me!!! You just inspire me.

    Reply

  3. Anastasia Alston
    May 02, 2013 @ 12:13:14

    You sound a whole lot like me – messy, introspective, analytical, forgetful & definitely housework-phobic! I love a good book & organizational skills evade me unless it’s something I really like, at which point I’ll invent a system on the spot specific to that particular task. My closet has clothes in it: some clean, some hung up, some folded & a whole lot of them just heaped on the floor!

    Reply

    • Shannon McDonough
      May 03, 2013 @ 12:08:47

      It’s all about being who you are, isn’t it Anastasia? Whether that looks acceptable to other people or not. At the end of the day, it’s your life and you get to live it your way 🙂

      Reply

  4. Beth Lyons
    May 02, 2013 @ 12:24:35

    Wow Shannon, what a great post! It’s YOU, YOU, YOU!!!

    Reply

  5. Jane
    May 02, 2013 @ 13:33:23

    So well written! the right timing, for the right emotions and ractions – great stuff, freeing and everything ! … 🙂

    Reply

  6. conniepace
    May 02, 2013 @ 15:00:28

    Perfect! And the YOU we all love and adore!

    Reply

  7. Ami
    May 04, 2013 @ 09:43:31

    I love this. You articulate so well what, I am sure, many people feel. I look forward to each new post!

    Reply

  8. willowmarie
    May 28, 2013 @ 18:24:31

    I lOVE this post! it’s funny & honest & will keep me smiling for hours. Am thinking you should be on top of a mountain with a megaphone reading it.

    Reply

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