An Unfinished Poem Titled “Be Yourself”

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

You wonder

What do people mean by this?

I am already me, am I not?

Years pass

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 knowledgeable 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.

Sanida Palavra Wolfe

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