I believe that every person should be accepted as a unique individual, regardless of their colour, size, age, orientation, lifestyle, culture, education or any other differential that is but only one small aspect of their person.
Yet, the same courtesy is often hard to extend to myself.
I sometimes find it difficult to accept aspects of myself that seem contradictory to each other and I acknowledge my subconscious, and sometimes conscious, effort to ” fit in ” in academic, social, or career groups.
Whether through my manner of speech, my style of dress, my composure or activities, I find that it is easy to try to melt into a mold, alternative or otherwise, and of course, it has never been a successful venture. Doing so was lying to myself.
Today, a wise person asked me ” Why must you fit in at all?”
In the metaphor of a child’s punch and shape box, why must the blocks go inside the box?
Why can’t you play with the blocks?
Although one facet of myself may fit into a variety of slots, there may very well never be a particular slot for me.
Stereotype molds exist because they are comfortable and safe. They may be viewed as guidelines to life, and make decision making easy if I simply rely on the group decision to make my own. However, to do so is to disempower myself. It makes futile my ability to use my knowledge, skills and experience to make the best possible choice for myself.
So this week, I’m making a concentrated effort to love myself, oddly shaped block and all, and to live life and simply love the things I do because I enjoy them, and to not worry about “fitting in” with the people who just so happen to share a few of those hobbies, or to engage in activities simply because they are “acceptable” to my group.
I am who I am. The things I do do not define me. I honour myself in accepting and respecting every part of me.
My name is Jenny Thuy Anh Nguyen and I am a French-born, Catholic Vietnamese Canadian woman who studies design, works for a company I respect and admire, reads, writes, snowboards, longboards, roller skates, cooks, bakes, rides a sport bike, doodles, drinks, loves Ikea, classical musical, acoustic guitar, piano, psychobilly, punk rock, graphics, photography…
I am still learning, about myself and the world.
So Who are you?