Nowadays it seems that Instagram names are more important than real ones and people are more honest in their hashtags than their words.
In a world ruled by social media, it’s easy to sit there wondering, “Who even am I and what in the world is my purpose here?” This past July I went on a road trip from San Diego, California to Portland, Oregon and that same question was radiating through my head.
It was 2:00 AM, I was sitting in a four person Ford Explorer filled with five people and a trunk full to the brim of a variety of things deemed necessary for the trip. (I use “necessary” loosely, by the way). We were driving through a city that had zero redeeming qualities and smelled like cat pee on a hot day. To get my mind off the wretched smell, I let myself get lost in my thoughts. That is exactly when it hit me… I have talents, but I don’t know how I’m supposed to use them and I also feel like I have a lot to learn about myself.
For a long time, I let myself pick up all my past pain, suffering, and baggage as I walked out the door every morning. I would let it weigh me down and keep me from becoming a free woman. We’ve all been hurt in our lives and we have all baggage from those painful experiences.
However, we aren’t stuck in our pasts.
We can allow the paralyzing fear from past baggage hinder us from developing our talents and impacting society, or we can let it encourage us to step out of our old shoes and blossom into a newer and stronger person.
Society throws a lot of standards our way that are seemingly impossible to measure up to. Don’t grab onto those societal standards that make life full of “#adventure”, “#intentionaliving”, or “#buildingcommunity”. These concepts have a great premise behind them, but when they become about the hashtags instead of the unique individuals typing them, it becomes a waste of time.
Adventures to the forest leave you with #artsy Instagram posts of your best friend wearing leather boots standing amongst trees looking up to the sky. While that’s great and it’s going to rack up likes on the Instagram newsfeed (but let’s be real, only if you post before 9 AM or after 9:30 PM) it’s not building your confidence as the unique individual that you are.
I’m just as guilty as any of you who are awkwardly laughing because you know it’s a problem that is affecting the majority of our generation. If I know I’m going to a more “hipster” event I’m going to pick my floral dress and leather boots over my oh so comfortable outfit of black jeans, an American flag skull tank top, vans, and red lipstick. It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of doing things to please other people, but the reality is that you are important, you are unique, and you matter.
Find what makes your heart pound with passion and do not give up on it.
Don’t sell yourself short either.
Each and every one of us has talents, gifts, and callings that make us unique. Embrace them and share them with the people around you. Don’t conform to the patterns of this world but rather, let yourself transform by renewing your view of yourself.