To Thine Own Self

To Thine Own Self
Rachel Birdsell

Rachel Birdsell

By Rachel Birdsell

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”. – Oscar Wilde

Too many times, people try to hide who they are. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at that, but I still am. More surprised that people feel the need to do it rather than that they do it.

Different people have different reasons for hiding their true nature. Some are shy, others have heard a voice, whether from a parent, peer or from their own brain telling them how they should really be. Stand taller. Suck in your gut. Speak slower. Be more articulate. Don’t slouch. I said stand taller. Be more aggressive. Say what you mean. Be nice. Don’t talk like that. Why are you so weird? Why do you have to be so shy? You should dress less seductively. You should dress more seductively. You should be somebody different than who you are.

What these voices don’t say, but what is implied, is that who we really are isn’t good enough for them. They don’t approve. They aren’t going to let us get by with being ourselves. And, why don’t they approve? Maybe they aren’t happy with themselves, so they’re projecting. Maybe they were raised by horrible parents who never taught them how to love themselves, so they can’t love anyone else. Maybe they’re just raging assholes who get off on bullying other people.

But, why should we try to be someone we aren’t? Who are we trying to please?

True, we should try to change things we don’t like about ourselves. If we want to eat healthier or lose weight, we should. If we have a crappy attitude about our job, we could change it and it would probably do more good than not. But, if you’re a 36-year-old man who still gets excited about Superman comic books, why would you hide that? If you like wearing neon knee socks and pleated miniskirts, rock them both. *If you’re a 45-year old woman who really digs skulls and bones, why not put the display on a bookshelf in your bedroom?

Put your quirkiness on display and if someone doesn’t like it, who gives a rat’s hiney? My motto is “F*ck the f*cking begrudgers.” Don’t let someone else dictate how you’re going to act. Go out there and be yourself, because it will make you feel amazing, because it’s your right, and because Oscar told us to.

*The writer claims full and complete ownership of this description.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can reach her at

Categories: Commentary