Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Doing You

I think the one thing I wish for everyone is that for each person to figure out who they choose to be and run with it.  I call it "doing you".  This might mean you're uncomfortable at first, because most of us have been raised in a society that encourages conformity, a strong need to impress others and fit in.  I've been there.  I've been the bubbly, friendly, fake smile bitch before who everyone likes.  Here's the biggest clue that you're probably not doing you....everyone likes you.  Honestly, I am sure there are some exceptions, but for most people if you're doing you, someone is going to not like you (which is different than someone disliking you, though both can occur).  This isn't anything negative about you or even them.  Some personalities and life choices will not ever click.  That's okay.

It was a hard lesson to learn, and one that left me floundering for a while.  The best thing to ever happen to me was that I moved thousands of miles away from family and friends with only G to keep me company.  This is a man who would love me even if I had a lobotomy and turned into a super insane version of myself (which I'm pretty sure makes him the nutty one), so it was a safe place to figure out who I wanted to be.  Turns out I'm part Suzy Homemaker and part Cold, Aloof Bitch (CAB).  Oh yes, sometimes those bits of me clash a little.  And neither is reserved strictly for anyone.  For instance, G gets both sides of me, and actually likes both sides of me.  There is nothing more attractive to him when we're out for coffee than when I'm being a CAB in a "I could care less" manner.  Not towards him, I try and always be interested in what he has to say, but just in general. 

This does not mean I'm not uber polite to servers, in fact, everywhere we go that we're regulars they're more apt to deal with me and my smile and I even have a bit of a teasing relationship going on with my Indian waiters (one who attended UMKC back home, small world!).  I think etiquette reigns supreme and I would never be rude to someone who did not deserve it.  (But if you see my eyes narrow and my face tighten, step back a few feet!)  What it does mean is that I'm more cautious in getting to know people.  I can be a bit distant.  I admit sometimes the old bubbly me comes out with nerves, but I usually keep it in check because that feels more comfortable to me. 

A hard fact is that some of your friends and family will try to force you back into the box.  Do not let them.  You'll lose you, and you'll resent them later, if not right then.  Am I exactly who everyone always thought I was?  No.  And the more time I have away from them, the stronger I am in maintaining who I've chosen to be.  You are not born into a personality, it develops, and you can choose to change it the same way you change opinions.  I suggest having one person who likes you no matter what, it helps.  But the most important thing it to do you, not be an image of someone else's idea of you.  As I like to say, when it comes right down to it, you're all you've got here really.  If people don't like you, it's usually* their problem.  Most importantly you have to like you.

*I reserve the right to acknowledge that there are some people, such as Mel Gibson, that perhaps should not being doing their own thing.  If the words you spout are offensive to nearly everyone on the planet (and I'm pretty sure God too, Mel), you should probably get therapy and conform a bit more.  You know, because humanity should count for something.


  1. Loved this entry. I never quite fit in growing up so learned pretty early it's alright to "do you (or me)". I am trying to pass this on to my niece.
    Am keeping you and G in my prayers.
    Darlene Renee

  2. I so agree with this and am finally there. It took work shaking off my old notions about wanting to please so much.

  3. Ahh, i absolutely love this post. I have to say i'm still working towards it as i grew up in an environment where as girls we all had to be one way or labelled as 'bad'

    xoxo Hermine

  4. Great post, Kalee.

  5. This is my favorite post of yours ever. I think many of us are raised to be "nice" all the time and we naturally want people to like us and that gets us in trouble. What I found was that the older I get, the less I give a shit about what people think ... it is why I love getting older. It is the best feeling. The only tiny thing I would respectfully disagree about is that you aren't born with your personalities. My kids, from when they were infants had very distinct personalities which sort of blew me away to see how they were just born so different in their personalities. Of course, that doesn't mean that your personality isn't further shaped as you grow older ... anyway, thanks again for this post

  6. Thank you ladies, I loved writing this post!

    And Kristi, what I meant by not being born with your personality is that you have the option of changing it as you get older. That we're not "locked into" that particular trait. i.e. the shy girl who turns out to be a phenomenal public speaker and becomes more bold.

  7. Makes sense to me ... we are all works in progress : )

  8. Loved this entry so much! It's going to my weekly links!
    Thanks Kalee!