anything other than me

I don’t want to be
Anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I’m tired of looking ’round rooms
Wondering what I’ve got to do
Or who I’m supposed to be
I don’t want to be anything other than me

I’m surrounded by liars everywhere I turn
I’m surrounded by imposters everywhere I turn
I’m surrounded by identity crisis everywhere I turn
Am I the only one who noticed?
I can’t be the only one who’s learned!

I don’t want to be
Anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I’m tired of looking ’round rooms
Wondering what I’ve got to do
Or who I’m supposed to be
I don’t want to be anything other than me

— Gavin DeGraw —

Being a teenager is never easy. Infact, being human is never easy. we’re constantly being judged and criticised about everything and anything: how we dress, hairstyles, careers, hobbies, actions, opinions, attitudes. You name it, someone will be judging someone on it. Which quite frankly, sucks. Since when did we have the right to bring people down like that? I’ve been on the wrong side of it often enough and it can hurt like hell. It happens everywhere. School, Work, Uni, somewhere as bizarre as the Gym, and even in Church..where everyone is supposed to have a ‘christian attitude.’ I got it a lot in school in particular. I was one of the weird kids who didn’t quite fit in. Yeah i had a few ‘friends’, but I had a lot who weren’t. I got teased quite a lot..mostly just people ‘having a laugh’..but that doesn’t mean it didn’t sometimes hurt. I do remember being so embarrassed once when someone made up a fake love letter to me and stuck it on the door to the canteen..safe to say I was raging..and humiliated!
Anyway I’m not looking for sympathy..I like being me! (well, most of the time!!) But back then, I didn’t. I was a geek, I was never in trouble and never had so much as a punishment exercise, I got good marks in nearly every class, I was In nearly every group the music department ran, I didn’t drink, I went to church (catalyst for teasing for sure!), I was shy, and I was just a pretty socially awkward kid! (nothing’s changed there then, I hear you say!!)
Back then I longed to fit in. I wore more make up, tried to style my hair like the popular kids (I particularly remember a very slicked down pony tail thing in 1st or 2nd year…which looked even more ridiculous on me than anyone else: greased down hair on the top of my head with a massive bush-like pony tail at the back. not a good look!!). I’d wear the same clothes as everyone else (combats and trainers with my uniform ring a bell…), and I tried so hard to act like everyone else, but it never worked. I never quite fitted in.
Back then, this seemed like a disaster, as conformity was key, but with hindsight it was definitely a good thing. The thing is, I was different. Because everyone is different! And that’s the way it’s supposed to be!! Every single person on this planet is unique, and yet we try so hard to be the same and judge each other for being different, when of course that’s exactly how we’re supposed to be!
It’s safe to say I never realised this in my younger teens, but even though I do now, it doesn’t stop me judging others or getting self conscious about being judged myself. And I do, I still worry about what I look like or how much prettier/smarter/funnier/more loved someone else is than me, and always will. However unlike in high school, these moments are short-lived, and most of the time I remember that I’m not meant to be the same..I’m meant to be ME!

I don’t want to be anything other than me

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