In 2018, don’t try to be someone else: Just Be You

This mural is painted on the side of a building on Colorado Street in downtown Austin. Photo by Pam LeBlanc/American-Statesman

 

I found this handy reminder (along with a unicorn) painted on the side of a building on Colorado Street, a few blocks north of Lady Bird Lake, while riding my bike to work the other day.

It reminded me, once again, that I really kick butt at being me – and I’m not so good at trying to be anyone else.

I love finding these hidden messages around town. They pop up like road signs when I’m feeling slightly lost or overwhelmed, and serve as a little kick in the pants to get on with it.

This one sent the message to focus on what I’m best at – or at least what I love the most. For me, that means doing something physical, and sharing the experience with others through my writing. It reminded me that I’m not a top athlete or an investigative reporter, and I shouldn’t try to be one. But I am good at dropping my humility and trying new things, then encouraging others to peel away the fear and try it themselves.

That’s satisfying.

It also reminded me that in order to be the best me possible, I need the outdoors. I mean need it, as in if I couldn’t pedal out the madness, swim through green-blue water to ease the mental storms or run through a leafy refuge to slow myself down, I’d combust.

Seriously. That’s why we all need nature – to balance out the things we have somehow come to believe are more important, like fancy houses or expensive restaurants. Nothing in my book ranks higher than dirt and rocks and creeks and critters and the freedom to explore.

It allows me to Be Me.

It’s a new year. Find what makes you happy, and aim yourself squarely at it. Stay healthy and stay positive.

And do not take no for an answer.

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