An Unfinished Poem Titled “Be Yourself”
You are young
And people shout: just be yourself!
And you think
What do they mean? I am already me, am I not?
So you stare at this strange, empty advice
You take it apart and put it back together
Be-your-self, be yourself
Muddled and befuddled
What do people mean by this?
I am already me, am I not?
And you look back and realize
What it really means is . . .
To embrace your quirks, mishaps, and mistakes
To admit when you are wrong
To celebrate your wins
To discover your likes and dislikes
To let life be your teacher and your guide
Do not fret about the meaning of such cryptic advice
Live your life
And soon you’ll understand what it really means to be yourself
I remember hearing this advice back in high school and pondering its meaning. There are no instructions on how to be yourself. No one cares to elaborate on that cliche statement.
It was not until recently that I realized that it means living your life. It means letting life experiences, your mistakes, and your wins in life teach you about who you are and what you want or do not want. It is a slow, meandering process. No one tells you that it is a life-long process of discovery and learning.
So that is some context to this, I guess, free-verse poem. I did not follow any particular rules, nor am I knowledgable in that department. I am experimenting with something new. Did you understand what I meant though? What does “be yourself” mean to you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.