For most of our lives, we convince ourselves that Time abounds. We assume we are invincible and immortal, unbothered by thoughts of anything else existing outside of our immediate reality.
Until, of course, we experience “moments of impact,” the ones that shake us down to the core and make us re-think absolutely everything. That is when we learn the most about life and its inner workings.
Of the numerous lessons I’ve learned in the past few months, this one is my favorite: not being our true selves always is the real waste of Time.
I used to hold myself back around certain people for fear of making them feel uncomfortable. I would do my best to fit into whatever mold they had designated for me, however it was that they wanted me to act. I led my mind to believe that if I did this, they would like me and accept me.
Yet, I eventually realized how vain that sounded. I wasn’t being honest with myself. Did I really care enough about the other person to sacrifice my personality in order to not make them feel uncomfortable? Or was I so insecure in my own skin that I hid behind my fear of being rejected?
The latter. One hundred and fifty percent.
But why? Why am I so scared of rejection? When have I ever, truly, been rejected before? Never, or at least not in any traumatizing way. So then, where does this reaction come from?
I still don’t have the answer; however, what I do know is that this is the fear that has kept me from publishing my writing for the last 26 years. Now that I’ve exposed the culprit, there is nowhere for it to hide. It will eventually cripple and die. That is what I have been battling for every day since I discovered what has been keeping me in my comfort zone.
And so, not only am I now constantly pushing myself to follow my passion and my dreams, I’m also daring myself to always be me – because, quite frankly, it’s OK to be so. It’s the only thing I can be, and I’m sure no one else can do it as well as I can. More importantly, there’s not enough Time in this life to risk not being real.
For the most part, we are not conscious of just how slim the chances are of meeting the people that currently occupy our lives. Think about it. Think about the amount of factors involved in meeting another meaningful human being at any given point. Why would we ever waste the perfect circumstances – the “alignment of planets,” if you will—by being fake?
God gave us life so that we could live it, not so that we could waste it by hiding behind human misconceptions and false realities.
So, stop it. Right now. And if you don’t believe in God, then at least heed the words of my dear Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Photo: Belén Alemán / Self-portrait in Sant Cugat, Catalonia, Spain