Do not be afraid to stand out, be different

Columnist and Columnist

I have a genuinely weird obsession with Sphynx cats.

In case you’ve never seen one, they are hairless, have webbed toes and extremely large eyes and ears that can be quite startling. Their appearance causes both love and rejection.

No matter how many times I show a picture of one of these little beauties to a friend or family member, I always wait for their reaction, which is generally distasteful to me. Honestly, I know most people don’t like them; however, that is not going to deter me from adoring them and acquiring one when I’m older.

As strange of a tale as that is, the overall message should be taken and applied to a more serious topic.

I’m willing to stand up for my love of a cat, yet some people are incapable of standing up for themselves and embracing who they truly are.

Life should be lived to the best of your ability. It should be lived in a way you enjoy. Parading around as someone you aren’t is not an engaging way to live.

As previously stated in another article, I sincerely want you to be yourself and show your true colors.

Parents, grandparents and other members of your family and close circle of friends may have a view of who they want you to be, but is it the view you have for yourself? If it is, great. Keep it up.

Nevertheless, some of you do not wish to be the person everyone else wants you to be.

Break away from their expectations and standards and be who you want. The people who really love you will support and accept you for who you are, no matter who that person turns out to be. It’s like the previous example: Not everyone will approve of what you choose, but the good individuals will accept it and move on.

Of course, others’ opinions matter to a certain degree; these opinions should not dominate your life, though.

Occasionally, there will be a point in time when you will have to “break away from the crowd” and do what you need to do to make yourself happy. These decisions may not be easy, but they definitely create a big difference in the level of how happy you are (truly happy — not that fake happy-sappy junk).

When I transferred high schools, it was a drastic change. I moved states, for Pete’s sake. It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, yet it allowed me to grow into the person I am today. I love that person and am very proud of who she is.

This is why I encourage you to do what you need to do, within reason, in order to attain any semblance of pure, unadulterated happiness possible.

Similarly, personality plays a big role in the person that you are. Having an eccentric personality and stowing it away makes one just as guilty as someone who has a passive personality and attempts to be aggressive and showy. Most people’s personalities are phenomenal when they allow them to take hold and stop acting thoughtlessly.

There is no time that I can think of, honestly, that would be tolerable of wearing a fake personality.

Your personality is part of who you are — denying that is negating part of yourself. Wear your personality on your sleeves and love who it creates. There is no need to be ashamed of it or envious of another’s traits; people will be more apt to embrace you if you are being yourself.

Some of your best friends will be made based on personality traits, even if they don’t coincide faultlessly.

My best friend and I have very similar dispositions: we are both outgoing, eccentric, charismatic and have very high energy levels. However, we have some key variances and that’s OK.

I can have a very passive, subdued side where he can be dominant and over-the-top.

The similarities in our friendship are what created the bound, while the differences challenge us and require us to stand firm in who we are.

Friends are an excellent way to learn your true personality; they will aid you and test you.

Accept who are you and please don’t be afraid to stand out. Your actions and personality will reflect on the individual you wish to grow into or remain.

The thing I want to leave you with is this: Be yourself.

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