it takes everything to stand alone’
I have always been brought up to speak my mind, particularly by my mum. Speaking your own mind and being yourself is of the upmost importance; no one else can do it for you. I was also brought up, but with less emphasis on this, that it is okay to not follow the crowd. I think that my mum kind of wanted me to figure that last one out for myself, and I can see why- you learn a lot about yourself in the process. Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to say what you really think, and there’s a fine line between being assertive and being offensive.
I recently had an argument with a family member regarding how other members of our family aren’t honest with each other. They are perfectly happy to sit back, in the crowd, for a quiet life. My mum wasn’t there at the time and I ended up having a long discussion on the phone about it as I calmed down. For not the first time in my life it felt as though going against the crowd, and standing up for my beliefs, hadn’t exactly gone too well. Why is it that being consistent instead of hypocritical, choosing right over wrong, made me feel bad?
The times that I have gone with the crowd when I look back, I’m not proud of. A tiny example: everyone had poker straight hair when I was about fourteen, que me religiously straightening my hair until it was so dry you could’ve used it for lighting a BBQ. Only when my hairdresser commented with shock and surprise on my natural curls did I see that I had had something beautiful and individual! The amount of money I spent having to have the right bag when I first moved to secondary school…When out with friends a few days ago we saw two girls. They had the same hair, same outfit, same bag, same shopping bags. It was very “Plastics”. I won’t lie, for a couple of years in secondary school I did try to go with the crowd. And part of me pushed back, and left me feeling pretty confused. I hated it. I didn’t want to people please. And so I stopped, and just focused on being me. And it turns out I was pretty good at that.When you move to uni you have to do things on your own, and being able to embrace who you are, and appreciate being able to stand alone and be an individual, helps immensely. People worth knowing will value you more for being you and being interesting, than being one of the crowd and a carbon copy of the person next to you.
Often things we have strong opinions on can bring us under scrutiny. I won’t drink to the point where I can’t stand up, I have been nagged to drink more, and each time I’ve said no. I will drink as much or as little as I like. When everyone (post hair phase) wore thick foundation, and blocked out their lips in the same colour, I didn’t follow.
It takes an immense amount of dedication to yourself to stand alone, and not just go with the crowd believing it will help you to fit in, or provide a quiet life. Looking back on said argument, I did wonder if maybe I should’ve kept schtum and gone with the majority. But looking back I’m glad that I didn’t- because only dead fish go with flow.
Have a great week guys.