Who Do You Think You Are? #BehindTheBlogger

If there is one thing I've learned since I've become an adult, it's that growing up and becoming the person you truly are takes courage.

I grew up in a lower-income family. I resolved when I was a teenager that I was going to achieve something greater for myself, and the only way I understood to do that was through increasing amounts of education. I got straight A's in high school and went to college. I had an image in my mind of what I wanted to be - a high-powered, suit-wearing, sleek executive at a newspaper in a big city. So, I chose to study journalism.

And I hated it. It was monotonous, the journalists I met were nothing like the magazine-sleek professionals I'd seen in the movies, and the industry I had so badly wanted to join (newspapers) was dying out in favor of digital media. Ironic, now that I think about it, that I'm a blogger. Sorry, newspapers.

My grades suffered my sophomore year because, I was so mentally inflexible with what I wanted to do professionally, that when it didn't make me happy, I didn't know where to go. I swapped my minor to my major (Chinese), and picked up a minor in Political Science. I eventually graduated, and went to graduate school for Foreign Policy. I moved to Washington, DC, to again pursue that goal of becoming a high-powered, suit-wearing, sleek executive - this time in the intelligence community.

And I hated it. The job market sucked, I interviewed for jobs I felt would make me miserable, and again floundered when I realized the image I had built in my mind of the person I wanted to be was not something that would ultimately make me happy.

I was always the black sheep in my friend groups. In college, I was friends with primarily sorority girls, all from upper-income families that had an entirely different perspective on life. In graduate school, I was friends with other hyper-intelligent, hyper-engaged women, but the difference there was that they were all in the field I thought I wanted to be in, and they loved it. I did not love it. I again felt like the black sheep in a group of my closest friends.

I found climbing in 2013 (a brief synopsis of that experience can be found here) and I realized: these are my people. This is who I am. Organic, salt-of-the-earth, simple people. Women that don't busy themselves with makeup or clothes, nails, or hair, or material things. Easygoing people that love to travel the world and really experience life. It was a huge shock for me, mentally and emotionally, to realize I had been forcing myself down a path that wasn't right for who I was, on the inside.

Seriously. It is so funny what the insecure mind will do to you when you are trying to force yourself into being a person that you just aren't, on the inside. Growing up has been an ongoing process of accepting that no, maybe I'm not that person that I've idealized in my mind. Maybe I really am a simple person, that really doesn't like to get dressed up in nice clothes and wear makeup every day, get her nails and hair done, and busy herself with the "more more more". I had so ingrained in my mind that I should be a certain type of person that allowing myself to be who I really am, the person that makes me happiest, has been quite the process.

To young people, ask yourself the title of this post: "Who Do You Think You Are?" Are you forcing yourself to be someone you're not, to fulfill an ideal in your mind, to compete with others, or to "keep up with the Jones'"? This is a critical question in your development as a person. Be the person that makes you happiest, and not the person you, or others, feel you should be.

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13 comments:

  1. Wow! This is beautifully written. It’s funny how we think we want to be something, but when we experience it we realize it was just the idea of it that was fun. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Music Production. I’ve always loved music, but producing it is just not my forte. Here I am writing, which I’ve always been passionate about. I beat myself up about this all the time. I feel like I wasted so much money and time studying something that I didn’t truly love.

    I think your post is very inspiring. It shows that in the end, happiness always wins. I love that you chose the right path for you. Many people would have let society choose for them.

    Thanks so much for sharing and being a part of our hop!

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    1. Thank you so much, Joyce! It's funny to me that the experiences that I thought were to be hidden in my life are now touching people and making them feel more inspired, or more like they can share their stories, too. I think blogging has been therapeutic for me in that way - I was always nervous about admitting that I had made mistakes or that I had wasted money going down the wrong path, professionally, but forcing myself to write about it on a public forum such as this one has really been healing for me, I think.

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  2. I loved your post! I spent so much time switching majors in college and ended up with a degree in social sciences, which was something I never wanted a career in - it just ended up being what I had the most credits for, so I went with it. Weird how things work out.

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    1. You sound just like a friend of mine! He ended up with some random project management degree, or something, because he accidentally fulfilled the credits. It happens! Personally I think life is all about the journey, and not the destination. All those experiences contributed to who you are, and you had them for a reason!

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  3. Hello, fellow salt of the earth girl! I always thought I would want to be something other than what I am. Now, though, I realize I'm extremely happy just being me. You've many fabulous experiences behind you and it helps to make you uniquely you.

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    1. Yes absolutely! I think I am finally JUST starting to scratch the surface and come into myself, at 28. I feel really blessed to have come along the path I have and to have found what I'm passionate about. Just gotta cut out the bad and the competitive feelings and people and just do you!

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  4. I love this post! It's so true how you visualise your future or what you want to do and slowly your ideas change. For me however I always knew I wouldn't be happy in a corporate environment. As a graphic designer I am much more comfortable in my jeans and trainers, but I know so many people who studied something and years later end up doing something completely opposite.

    Always do something that makes you happy rather than settling for a job that you tolerate to pay the bills.

    xo

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    1. Yes exactly! Coming to that realization has definitely been a huge part of my development as a person.

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  5. Loooove this post! I want to join in!

    Finding "your people" is a great and freeing feeling. Climbers, nature adventurers and low key are totally my people as well. Finding where I fit in opened a whole new world of confidence and comfort for me. Great post!

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    1. Yes absolutely, and thank you! Definitely join in, there are tons of topics to choose from and you don't have to do them all! Such a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers and provoke some thoughts about yourself you may not have considered otherwise!

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  6. Such a great post. I love honest writing, and your story really brought up some emotions for me. I went through many times when I didn't feel like I fit in and didn't really know myself.

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    1. I'm so glad! One of my goals for my blog is to be super open and honest about my life and my struggles. I totally feel like it helps other people identify their own emotions and feel more like they aren't alone, and can relate to me!

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  7. Oh I know exactly what you are talking about. I can totally relate. And it pretty much was that which I encountered during my holidays. It's good to know tho ;-) Now I can stop making myself miserable haha.

    Great writing & thanks for sharing.

    Have a wonderful week =)

    Alex - Funky Jungle

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