"It takes courage to grow up and become who you truly are." - e. e. cummings
There's something so easy in becoming like those around you. It's something I've done almost my entire life, taking pieces of others and molding them into a muddled version of someone I thought people would like. And whether or not that may have been the case, it damaged the person I was supposed to become. The person I truly am.
I recently found a box full of photos from my childhood and as I sorted through them I saw all the different aspects of my true personality shining through. I saw the philosopher always thinking and looking for meaning. The nature admirer that would watch the wind in the trees, be in awe of the stars in the sky, and would watch white puffed-up clouds float by. I saw pictures that captured a goofy girl that grinned widely and pulled faces, photographs that revealed the mischievous little brat that's truly at the heart of who I am. But what really caught my attention was how full of life I was. My true, God-made inner self untainted by a world that tricks and teases. It's something I've been missing for quite some time and it progressively became more and more lost as I grew up and became more like those around me.
I've fallen apart this past year, more so than I've ever experienced before. I lost myself in choices that were made for other people and not for myself. These past few months were especially hard and I found myself turning inwards and finding nothing there to get back to. The real me had been fragmented into a series of small pieces, glued together with pieces of other people, and my inner self was no longer there.
It's in coming to terms with my choices that I've slowly started to realize the chameleon that I am and how it does nothing for myself or anyone around me. We all offer such beautiful, unique things to this world and I'm finally beginning to realize what a shame it is to cover up what makes me who I am. Just because others don't always fit in with every aspect of who you are doesn't mean that those pieces of you are of any less worth. Don't disregard the things that make you unique - don't become a chameleon - find the courage.