It’s our quirks and our weird, little details that make us people; the way I’m always, always too hot and Maddy’s always, always too cold. The way I can’t look over one shoulder without looking over my other shoulder afterward because otherwise my body would be off-balance. It’s these things that make us who we are; that cause us to connect with certain people and ultimately make us care about each other.
And this is all cool and great. But at the same time, we’ve become so wildly obsessed with this idea – with the notion of embracing our own unique selves 24/7 that it’s actually kind of overwhelming.
Instagram quotes and coffee mugs. Signs and cards and notebook covers screaming this message at us in some twirly gold font.
BE YOURSELF! EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN!
YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST AT BEING YOU.
BLAZE YOUR OWN TRAIL, BABY!
And yes – this is all inspirational and true. Of course it’s true. But fuck man. Sometimes what you really want is someone to remind you that we’re actually all the same. That you’re normal and fine. That blazing your own trail doesn’t have to be this big stressful thing where you’re trying to make a difference every second and standing for a cause and doing enough. Being individual enough. Maybe, sometimes, it can just mean that you order beer when everyone else orders wine. And that’s totally cool.
Because sometimes, when the world is screaming at you to embrace your own path, you don’t fucking want to. Sometimes you don’t want to find some cool new road to walk down, busting through all this weird debris that seemingly everyone else managed to avoid. Sometimes you just want to know you’re on the same path as everyone else. That you’re heading somewhere and you’ll get there eventually and you don’t have to stand out and be all confident in doing it differently. You just want to walk at a comfortable pace alongisde other human beings, stopping for a coffee when you need a little push. Because despite society’s obsession with everyone setting themselves apart and being unique and refusing to conform; despite the fact we’re supposed to not only embrace but encourage our differences and our varying life stages and our questionable fashion choices, sometimes we want to be reminded that ultimately, we’re doing fine. We’re normal. We’re no different than anyone else. We’re all just human beings with dry hands and split ends, giving life our best shot and doing embarrassing things and regretting a lot of our decisions.
We’re just another member in this big group of people, pretending to text someone while we’re sitting alone at a table because we’re too insecure to just be alone for ten seconds and not display the fact that we are, in fact, connected and popular and busy.
We’re all the same.
We’ve all stressed over what to caption our Instagram photo. Like, literally genuinely stressed about it. Had ambitions for a crazy productive Saturday to suddenly realize it’s 4pm and we’re still in our sweatpants telling Netflix that yes, for the last time YES we do want to continue watching. Fantasized about what we’d wear when we finally won an Oscar. Fantasized about what we’d say when we finally won an Oscar. Brought a store-bought cake to a potluck. Lied about “forgetting their birthday gift at home” when we actually forgot to buy them a gift in the first place.
Looked in the mirror and pretended you were in the final two on Survivor, delivering your final speech on why you, YOU, deserved the million more than they did.
“I wasn’t the strongest,” you’d say. “And I wasn’t the best. But I was myself the entire time.”
…okay, so maybe that one’s just me.
Regardless, the point is that being yourself is very empowering. That our differences are what make us all so fucking great. That going at a different pace in a different place is how it should be. That blazing your own trail is key.
BUT. While we’re doing all these individually unique things; while we’re carving our own path and standing up for what we believe in, it’s also okay to chill the fuck out and remember that we are, quite literally, all the same. That being part of this giant group of people is equally as empowering. That we aren’t different and weird and alone. We aren’t alone at all. We’re all in this together – as humans, who are all the same, and who are all doing just fine.