you are who you want to be

This post was originally written in 2013 on a website that had an audience of one (me). It actually still holds up, so I sent it to my subscribers of the daily taryn, a daily email newsletter/writing project . Now's the perfect time to join, so I'll hold while you do so. Love u.

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On my way to work this morning, I was thinking about how weird it is that no two people are the same. I know it’s common sense, but it’s pretty fuckin’ weird. There are so many people, but not two of anyone.

You are you. Yay. But what makes you you? Everything, really.

A bit of everything

You’re the place you were born. The way you were raised. The good qualities from your parents. The bad qualities from your parents. The best days. The weird days. The kinda forgettable days. The nights you stayed up laughing with friends or having sex with someone you really super love. You’re your ex, and the ex before that ex, and the boy you chased around the playground in 6th grade. You’re the tennis trophies and report cards and birthday parties and trips abroad. You’re every experience and memory and lover and challenge — you’re a piece of it all.

Inherently you

You’re a mix of all the things that you’ve done and read and seen and experienced, but you’re also a mix of things that are inherently you — independent of everything else. You’re the traits that have followed you from childhood to adulthood. You’re the kid who “always danced through the movie credits,” so your mom says. The class clown. The one who looks for the lonely people. The scaredy-cat. The one who feels like they’re meant for something bigger. The one who has always felt secretly psychic. Or not enough. Or who always wins board games, because you have no idea how you got this competitive, but you just are. You are what you just are.

You are who you want to be

My favorite part about who you are is that you’re exactly who you want to be at any given moment. If you wanted to be anything other than what you are, you’d go be it. Don’t want to be a smoker? Stop smoking. Want to be a kinder person? Start being kind.

You — the person that you are — is not set in stone. You can be who you want to be. You might hate the way you were raised. Be embarrassed of your weight. Think you’re made for better. Know you’re made for the best. You might wish you weren’t this way, or that way. Wish you were more like the people you admire. You might be dating someone who has qualities you’ve always wanted. You might have friends you don’t want — you know they’re making you worse.

I have the best news for you: you can change who you are. Maybe not the color of your eyes or the shit you’ve experienced or the memories of the worst days in the world — no, you can’t change everything.

You can’t change who you’ve been, but you can change who you are. You can change who you’ll be.

Hi. I can't believe you read this — it actually means the world to me. Now that you're on a roll of making me happy, I'd like to give you 2 options to keep the fun going. 1) If you'd share this with someone or a feed of someones, or 2) you joined my newsletter. If that's not your thing, I'll love you regardless, but I'll do some middle school love letter journaling about you if you do either. Head here to join my list of gorgeous subscribers.