“Always be a first rate version of yourself…”

“…instead of a second rate version of somebody else” – Judy Garland (lifted from the Suicide Girls Facebook feed)

I spent a long time dreading the moments when people would well-meaningly tell me, “Just be yourself.” I don’t have much of a memory which means I haven’t had much of a reference for how I’ve dealt with stressful or unusual situations in the past. For years, my main frame of reference was TV shows and movies (bad move) and then later, my mother’s behavioural psychology books. Over-thinking every move and every conversation does not make for an easy time, trust me.

Recently I’ve come to realise that maybe this whole “being yourself” deal really isn’t so bad. You have to make mistakes, you have to learn to deal with those mistakes, you have to make yourself vulnerable, but it’s not the end of the world if something goes wrong.

There’s huge potential for pain and humiliation in a worst case scenario, but that’s part of being a grown up – being able to make your own decisions and cause your own downfall, but also being responsible for all the amazing things that suddenly slap you in the face and say, “Hey! You’re life’s actually pretty cool right now.”

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