close-up photo of woman in orange coat

Be Yourself At The Top Of Your Lungs

Misfit. Wild child. Free spirit. Old soul. Kooky. Carefree. Bizarre. As I have aged into my late 20s, I have grown to accept and even embrace these adjectives that have been used to describe me. Those old cliche terms “yolo” and “life is short” resonate with me as I write this, because in all reality, it’s true. I don’t want to look back on my life in 40 years knowing I was attempting to be something I’m not. I have spent so much time trying not to stand out; the effort I have put in trying to be “normal” has become exhausting and overrated. So you know what? Fuck it.

You and all your quirks are absolutely perfect. Anything that makes you unique or a little weird might be too much for some but celebrated by others (myself included). You just need to find your tribe. I have a special appreciation for people who dance to the beat of their own drum. The ones you can’t fit in a societal box. I relate to you more than you know. Am I insecure? Well, of course. But damn it, I refuse to let anyone else’s opinion of me keep me from dancing under the moon or laughing obscenely at the tip top of my lungs even if it’s the most annoying sound on the planet. Don’t hold back.

There’s a whole village of us who are a little “out there”. What one person might judge you for, another will think is insanely interesting. If you want to talk about conspiracy theories and aliens, I’m down for it. If you want to howl like dogs while the sun rises on a new day, I’ll join you. Stop living your life in a cultural norm cage. All the beauties our world has to offer is so much more worthwhile through a colorful lens. So go ahead and be over the top and outlandish. I endorse it.

As we start our descent out of this god awful pandemic, part of me has hopes that all those people who had enough time to find their individuality stay that way. Sing your heart out in the car and don’t worry if people hear you. Make uncomfortable eye contact with assholes who try to dim your shine. Explore. Find an adventure in every day you have. Follow your heart and don’t hold back on who you are. Keep being unapologetically yourself. Be the one wildflower in a field of tulips.

Freedom is something I’ve yearned for my entire life. For so long I’ve been a bird who has wanted to spread her wings and fly with no restraints. And at this point in my life, I’m finally starting to soar. I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone, and in turn, I feel more love and joy than I ever thought possible. Imagine yourself standing on the edge of a sunny riverbank with a rope swing but you’re too afraid to take the plunge. When you finally decide to jump off, it may seem scary or nerve-wracking at first, but the thrill and exhilaration of splashing into that sparkling crisp water is so freeing and satisfying you tell everyone else it’s okay to let go and dive right in. That is my point. Let go of everything that’s stifling your potential and just be you. I promise there are people who will love and admire you for it and will jump in after you.

Authenticity is beauty. Dye your hair every color in the rainbow if it makes you happy. Be spontaneous. Travel somewhere you never thought you’d end up. Go get that tattoo or piercing you’ve always wanted. Even if you’re a chaotic shit show, you have an inner magic and light that draws people in. Don’t lose that spark. In the words of Van Morrison, “Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.”

About the author
A little spunky and a little weird. Follow Jackie on Instagram or read more articles from Jackie on Thought Catalog.

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