I have a problem.
Up until 2012, I was the type of person who needed people to like me. I craved this social validation from my peers, from strangers, from the world. At one point in high school, I told a guy I was a massive Metallica fan because he was too – and I wanted to impress him. I like Metallica now, but probably not as much as I led him to believe.
I felt so sure that the only way people would like me is if we had at least one thing in common. And in this way, I was changing myself for society and I genuinely saw no problem in this.
But now I’ve grown up. Or rather, I’ve come to my senses. I’ve realised that I have a perfectly fine personality. My hobbies include some cool things that I would love to share with someone who cares enough to listen. I don’t need to pretend to have seen that movie, or have heard that song, or read that book. Because you haven’t seen all the movies or heard all the songs or read all the books I have seen, heard and read. You haven’t lived in my shoes and experienced the joys and sorrows that I have. I don’t need to hide my personality and hope that you’re okay with it.
I spent a significant few years of my adolescent life wanting to fit in and be liked by my peers. But I realised that I don’t need to change myself or my likes and dislikes just so that you’ll like me that little bit more. I have a lot to offer as well and if you don’t like that, then that’s okay. Because there will always be someone who will have read the books, heard the songs and seen the movies I have seen. There will always be someone who has lived in the same country, eaten the same food and spoken the same languages I have.
And if there isn’t? That’s fine too. We can open our minds with the help of these wonderful people, to these new experiences and in doing that, we’ll see a whole new world.