Always Be Yourself
In blogging, and most importantly, in life- always be yourself; even if that means standing alone. At least you’ll know, at the end of the day, that you stood true to your own convictions and that is something to be proud of.
This is something that I want to instill in my children- particularly my girls, and especially with my youngest. That’s not to slight my B, but because of her autism, I’m not sure if she would understand the concept… or if she really cares. If anyone, she’s a shining example of what it means to always be yourself. She faces each day with a fresh outlook, stimming in whatever way suits her for that moment, not caring if people are watching or judging her. And if they are, I’m usually the one who notices. Some days I can let it go because it’s just easier that way, and other days it’s difficult for me to not mouth off. But, then again, I don’t know if they’re familiar with autism and I could be using that moment as a teaching moment or to raise awareness. More often than not, however, I choose to say nothing and be on our way. B lives in her own world, and I fully respect that.
With my youngest, I want to teach her to always be herself in every situation. I have no doubts that boys will go through similar trials as they progress through life, but girls are particularly susceptible to stereotypes about body image and peer pressure to fit in. Self esteem fluctuates in ways that it shouldn’t, girls who were once confident in themselves seemingly lose that overnight. Whether that’s from trying to fit in, bullying, or other sources- it’s an experience I hope that my youngest will never go through.
For me, this was a painful learning experience as a teenager and something that I struggled to overcome well into adulthood. This past February, I turned 32 and it was only within the last few years that I finally accepted my body image for what it was. No longer did I obsess over my weight and appearance or if I could still squeeze myself into a size 0 or size 1. No longer did seeing a number in the triple digits freak me out when I went to the doctor. I had already made a promise to myself to not purchase a scale because I knew that would only feed my obsession. Still, it took me nearly half my life to finally accept myself for who I was. Not to just accept myself, but to love myself. And to fully understand that I should just always be me. After all, if I was comfortable in my own skin, that was all that really mattered.
I fully realize, of course, that I cannot protect my children from everything that they will experience- that’s part of life. I wouldn’t want to shelter them in such a way to begin with. I want them to live life without fear, to embrace change, dream, think for themselves, and learn from every opportunity that presents itself to them. And I hope that that they will remember that, when given the option, to always be yourself.
I mentioned in the opening paragraph, that being true to yourself in blogging is also important, and I think that this is very true. From the start, I wanted to make it a goal to be honest and transparent. With the posts on Autism, such as Autism and Guilt or Mental Health, where I disclosed my personal mental health issues… again, that’s what I know and that’s my life. Those experiences have helped to shape the person that I’ve become. And because I wanted this blog to be a reflection of myself, I find it necessary to be as real as possible.
If you would like a copy of any of the above quotes, you may download them below. Please do not redistribute or claim as your own, that’s all I ask. They’re all 5’7 and in .jpg format.
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>>>> Always Be Yourself <<<<
>>>> He Who Trims Himself <<<<
>>>> It Takes Courage <<<<
What about you? What do you hope to teach your children? Or, if you don’t have children, what lessons did your parents teach you?
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