By: Daniella Ayreh, Guest Blogger
A few months ago, I read the book Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (which quickly became one of my favorites, it is such an incredible book!!). There was one scene in the book that has really resonated with me. The two main characters, Will Traynor and Louisa Clark, were sitting in Will’s house having a conversation about truly living life. Will, who was older than Louisa by a number of years, took many risks when he had the chance. He was angry that Louisa never left the confines of their little town when she had the ability to take many risks.
“You’re the most terrible snob, Clark…You cut yourself off from all sorts of experiences because you tell yourself you’re ‘not that sort of person’”
“But I’m not”
“How would know? You’ve done nothing and been nowhere…go on. Open your mind.”
“I’d feel uncomfortable. I feel like…I feel like they’d know.”
“Who? Know what?”
“Everyone would know I didn’t belong.”
This really got me thinking. Don’t we all feel like this? Like we don’t belong? We all feel this at some point in our lives. It is a horrible feeling.
From a very young age we have these labels that we take on as an insecurity. Either you’re too fat or too skinny. Too rich or too poor. Too smart, or not smart enough. You get the gist.
When I was younger, I moved to a new city and switched schools. I was afraid, and that quickly turned into me being the quiet girl. And yes, I was insecure about it. I wasn’t the loud girl who was the actress, or the leader of the class who ran for student body president. Since I was the quiet girl, I felt like I couldn’t do these things because “everyone would know I didn’t belong.” Even if I wanted to go out for these things, it “just wasn’t me. I am quiet.” And I let the “louder kids” go out for this stuff.
This happens to the best of us. We stick to the labels that we are given, even if we want to break out of them. And because of these labels, the world tells you that there are certain things you can and cannot do. If you are not a jock, you can’t play on a sports team. If you are not a dramatic, you can’t try out for the main part in your schools production. And so on. It doesn’t matter how much you want to do these things, the fear of feeling that “everyone knows you don’t belong” with on that team or in that production, or in whatever it may be that you actually want to be involved in, stops you from even trying.
But you cannot let anything stop you. If you do not even try, if you don’t go after what you truly want, you’ll live with regret. Who cares what other people think? If people actually think that you do not belong, they are not worth your time. Go out and live your life the way you want, break free of those labels the whole world puts on you. Is it easy to break free of these labels? Not always. But when you do, and start living your life on your terms, you will be so much happier.
Labels are for clothes, not for people!
- Resist the urge to label yourself. When you find yourself thinking "I'm not a nerd" or "I'm not the stylish type," stop and remind yourself of the many, many, MANY qualities that make up YOU. Why limit yourself to one label when you ARE limitless!
I am in the process of completing my master’s degree in speech-language pathology. I love traveling, meeting new people, hanging on the beach, and will read anything I can get my hands on. I am obsessed with country music, and I constantly quoting Friends and One Tree Hill.
Image via jenniferloudon.com