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The Difference of What It Means to Be Yourself for Different People

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A lot of people say to be yourself, but I say to be your own person. These two phrases seem to have the same meaning. Yes, they basically have the same meaning: don’t be different from your true self. However, I would choose to say “be your own person” over “be yourself” any day. “Be your own person” is like “be yourself” with more meaning. It goes beyond the simple message of being true to yourself because it also says to live your own life. “Be your own person” means to stop following others and live life how you want to live it.

It’s funny, because my older sister, Rina, unintentionally gave me this advice. My mom, Rina, and I were discussing where I would work during the upcoming summer. I wanted to work in the food business, but I didn’t want to work at a fast-food place — way to greasy for me. So, my mom laughed and said to Rina, “She can just work at Planet Smoothie with you!” To this, Rina responded, “No! She needs to be her own person!” You see, I had already followed her to the pool that she worked at, and she wanted me to stop. She had no idea that this phrase — a phrase that just came out of her mouth like jumbled up words — would soon become the motto that I live by.

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Although I did end up working at Planet Smoothie, I can safely say that I am my own person. I am not a follower of others; I live my life how I want to. You can ask any of my friends or family, and they’ll tell you that I am not one to do what everyone else is doing. That whole “monkey see, monkey do” phrase doesn’t fly with me. There are a number of things that set me apart from others my age: I go to bed at ten o’clock, I barely use my Twitter account, I dress modestly, I’m not looking for a relationship at this stage in my life, and I don’t drink soda or coffee. Yes, I am different, but that doesn’t bother me because you know what? I’m happy. All those differences help me live a happier life.

That’s how I’m choosing to live my own life, and therefore, be my own person. I choose to live a life that makes me happy. Now, if you go to sleep at 2 a.m. every morning and have three cans of Mountain Dew every day, then that’s great, if that’s what you want. But that life, isn’t for me. At all. My life consists of waking up refreshed every morning, going to dances with friends, and wearing pants as pants, not leggings. I live this life because I took Rina’s advice and started being my own person. I suggest you do the same. I think that whenever people are faced with the conflict of following the crowd or being independent, they should think about their lives and resort back to the childhood behavior that they were often scolded for: “it’s mine!”

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