I slept through the afternoon and I am awake writing a cover letter that I have been trying to write for months now because I am expected to ‘sell myself’…SMH, but that is not even the point. As you may well know, because of the amount of times I have mentioned it, I am not a social media person. However, on some days, I spend some time looking at people’s profile. Especially people who just got married or about to get married *covers face,* yes, I am drawn to marriages, so watch out for my book. Anyway, looking at profiles on Instagram at different points in the day and maybe for some time now has made me think more about the phrase ‘Be yourself.’
Humour me for a moment and let us think on something together- who are you? For real, do you know who you are anymore?
I get that we are shaped by our experiences and people we meet. That’s why siblings can look alike, and yet be so different, especially if they attended different schools, or lived in different parts of the world. But guess what? They still end up having similar character traits. So, back to the beginning.
With social media and people putting up pictures of only the best parts of the lives or the best of the worst parts of their lives (lol), expectations are high, comparison is almost unavoidable leading to conformity and impatience is becoming trendy.
Lemme try to explain these things I just said with practical examples, I will try not to call names.
Expectations are high…. People tend to expect certain things from you based on a certain classification they have placed you, and before you know, you begin to have unrealistic expectations of yourself.
Do you know I have been beating myself up mentally for not having any friends to take a picture of me in my winter jacket for evidence that I schooled abroad? I have been wondering what people’s comments on Instagram would be about my wedding- the hubby, the gown, the make-up, the décor, our romantic first dance, first kiss etc. this one is very true, most times when I talk to my friends, or people back home, the first thing they ask me is whether my accent has changed or why it hasn’t changed.
Comparison is almost unavoidable, leading to conformity…. Who has the most likes for the same pose or same picture? Shebi we finished in the same set, and my result was even better, how come she is on billboards? We are both in the same business, how come people like her more than they like me? As a result of comparison, we lose ourselves, we copy and we begin to think- “maybe if I become a little bit louder I will get attention. I am not comfortable with it, but I am getting attention, ehn… I will get used to it. Maybe if I do crazy stuff, or post ‘sexy’ pictures, like ‘that sister’, I will get more followers”. And truly, more people start to follow us. They even compare us with ‘that sister’ or maybe a ‘celebrity’ and we are happy, because we believe we have made some kind of achievement. Who is a celebrity sef? (Story for another day).
Impatience is becoming trendy…. This is the one that gets me all the time. It’s not even a year to your wedding o, yet the whole world can see your passionate picture with bae.
Lemme break it to you, not trying to be a bubble buster, but you guys may not get married. How do you remedy the picture of you guys kissing and the compassionate love letter you wrote for the whole world to see when the hubby or wifey finally shows up? I’ll take it down you say… well, you can take it down, but you cannot remove it from the pages of those who reposted it or from the phones of those who screen grabbed it. Or for instance, you get invited to minister only once and you put up the picture and write a wonderful message about God’s calling upon your life. There may be a calling, but is it time for manifestation? You are just opening yourself up to pressures from people.
I am not judging anyone. Been there, done that, in fact, I still catch myself there sometimes. (I am growing my hair and I cannot wait to do a before and after pic and have people be like… wow, what did you use).
Just want to encourage you, don’t give in to the pressures to start what you cannot finish, or what you will struggle to finish. By all means, let people’s lives inspire you to be a better you but not a completely different person, who had to learn to get used to the new ‘me.’ For all my talk against the social media, it has been useful to me. I have been inspired by the lives of others, and I can have better quality of life by learning from people. However, one thing I am careful to do is not to swallow everything hook line and sinker. Everything is not what it seems and contrary to regular belief, a picture or a video is not always worth more than a thousand words. If you have ever taken a family picture in the studio, where all of you were quarrelling before the camera man said cheese, you will get my drift.
My point- in a bid to grow your business, go places and show Jesus. Do not be conformed, do not lose yourself. Be team Jesus not just because it’s cool, but because your life can tell, it’s not by force, true.
Let your fashion business show modesty, don’t raise the hems a little higher because it is trendy.
Let your music show it, don’t tweak the lyrics so that it can be an acceptable song.
Let your entertainment show it, don’t speak words that don’t give life or dress in a way that doesn’t glorify because you want to play or look the part.
Learn, unlearn and relearn, be a better version of YOU, but please be YOU.
I am me, I refuse to be defined by unrealistic expectations
I am me, I refuse to conform just to be accepted.
I am me, I choose to be patient, to use social media with wisdom
I will learn, un-learn and re-learn,
I will strive daily to be a better version of myself,
But I will be me, the one God intended when He created me.
I am me, and I am so proud to be ME
Thank you for reading, hope you’ll leave a comment as well.
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