Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finding your niche....

The older I get, the more I realize that if something is mainstream, (i.e. what everyone else is doing) it is probably not going to be for me.

I don't know why. I just know that I spent a few early years trying to find out what was so fascinating about things other people seemed to love, like sitting in bars or pubs for hours on end sipping overpriced drinks and talking to other people who were just sitting there sipping overpriced drinks; watching cable shows that, while entertaining, were ultimately just a waste of mental energy; or wearing the same style of shoe as everyone else even if I didn't actually like them. I did all of these things as a young adult only to find out that I could never get into the collective 'group think' that seemed to make certain styles or activities so fascinating to others.

And that's okay, just as it's okay if other people enjoy those things. I no longer watch cable; set foot in bars or pubs if I can help it; or buy what's in fashion just because it's in fashion. To decide not to be in the collective mainstream, however, will set you apart from most everyone else around you. It can be a little bit lonely not to blend in with 90% of the population...but the good news is, the more you embrace your authentic self and engage in activities that you truly enjoy, the happier you will be. And what I have found to be true is that the more you live in a way that honors your own spirit, the more you will draw to you people who share your same interests and passions, and with whom you will blend just perfectly.

Living a truly authentic life, embracing who you are and NOT trying to be someone you aren't just to please a majority population that you don't even relate to is a huge catalyst for the unhappiness and depression that seems to plague society today. I've rarely met a person who is living fully that is unhappy. But I meet many people who are hiding a major part of themselves from the world, and for this reason, are secretly miserable. And I've had dissapointing experiences with people who could not take a leap of faith, believe in something that wasn't mainstream, or give chance to an opportunity that would change thier lives just because it was different than what thier friends were doing.

I can image these people years from now, still sitting in pubs or bars, sipping on a tall glass of regret, the most expensive drink there is. Because life rarely looks back, never waits, and blessings rejected usually turn into curses as the years pass by.

My last Boldness Initiative post was about swimming lessons, diving in, and buying a pink dress. But a big part of the Boldness Initiative series was on finding the strength to be your authentic self, because in finding - and being - who you were meant to be, you will find your niche, your tribe, and ultimately, your happiness.

Painting: Mixed Blood by Amy L. Alley

1 comment:

Virginia ("Ginn") said...

I have met those people who opted to sit in bars sipping overpriced drinks (or equivenent behaviors)and, now, decades later, continue to do the same. (I have some great stories from my HS reunion in smalltown Iowa!) In my experience, those people who failed to venture off the beaten path often end up old, bitter and unhappy...and kinda jealous of those of us who "got a life"! Have you watched or read: "The Big Fish" you would love all the symbolism and the use of storytelling and being authentic...
Life is good....