Lately I've noticed everyone around me is trying so hard to fit in and it seems that nobody around me is being themselves, and they’re trying so hard to be someone they’re not. They focus their energy on trying to be someone that other people will like and accept, and aren’t focusing on being themselves. By being unique and being your true, bona fide self, you have the opportunity to stand out and shine above the lackluster people in this drab world. If you can get past that innate desire to blend in with everyone else around you, you can open up a whole new world for yourself. For me personally, I like programming computers and building cool stuff. I'm a big ass nerd and I'm super proud of that, and I would do absolutely nothing in this world to change that.
For me, the most important thing about being yourself is that you have the chance to make the best friends in your life. For me personally, by expressing myself and doing the things I love, I've had the chance to meet so many cool people who are passionate about the same things as me. One community I'm so grateful for is the Laravel developer community. I've met so many cool developers and so many like minded people, it's awesome. I've met a lot of kids my age in this community who are building amazing things. By meeting new people, you also open up more opportunities to express your creative ideas, get feedback, and improve yourself.
I think the greatest thing about being yourself, however, is that you never have to worry about anything really. When you follow the crowd, and you conform to social norms, you put on a facade to fit in and feel validated by the people around. However, if someone doesn't like you for you, or they think you're weird, you simply need to forget about them and move on with your life. If someone isn't supporting you and encouraging you to be your greatest possible self, they shouldn't be part of your life. People who judge you are just holding you back and preventing you from being you! You should move on and break free from the chains that these types of people hold you down with. Clearly, they haven't found themselves and they certainly aren't going to help you find yourself.
By being yourself you also don't have to worry about keeping up with the latest trends and fads, just so you can fit in with everyone else. This was really hard for me as a kid to overcome. Growing up, I had a dad who knew good music and shared that music with me. In middle school I loved groups like The Smiths, The Doors, Genesis, The Bee Gees, and many more amazing artists. My point being, I had a very different music taste than the kids around me. I would go to school dances and I'd have no idea what the music was that they were playing. I felt like I couldn't sing along or dance to it because I didn't know it all that well. I felt out of place, and I hated it. This feeling lasted a while for me as a kid; until I realized I could just request the songs I liked.
I think the most important thing that I've gained from being my truest self is a tremendous increase in confidence. I truly don’t care what people think of me because I'm being me, and nobody is going to change that. I wear the clothes I want (mainly Hawaiian shirts with cats on them), I listen to the music I want to listen to, I make my own decisions, and never listen to what people have to say about me because their opinions do not matter to me in the slightest. By being your unique self, people will actually remember you for you, and you won't just be another face out of the many 7.7 billion other faces in the world that everyone does forget about.
I truly don't care if you think my cat shirts are weird, I like cats and I like them on my shirts, and that's all that matters.