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   There are many people who live their lives in the shadow of other people.  They are challenged everyday because they don’t know who they are.  As I grow older I find that the easiest thing to do is to just be myself because I find it difficult trying to be what other people want me to be.  There is nothing in life more tiring than trying to live up to someone else’s conforms.  I have missed out on many opportunities by living on other people’s terms and it left me frustrated and unhappy.

Many of our challenges in this world come from not knowing who we are and ignoring our true destinies.  When we walk in the footsteps of others we fail to leave our own footprints.  We end up living our entire life as strangers even to ourselves because we have no idea who the hell we are.  We look in the mirror  and wonder who is that person looking back at us. We have imitated others so long  that we are merely copies of those we have come to admire.  We can never accomplish our own greatness if we continue to imitate someone else.  We have to dare to be ourselves.

I remember in my younger years when I was married to my first husband, he was a part of army reserves and I really desired to become a part as well.  I knew the benefits were awesome and I wanted to experience the travel, the training and the benefit of the education opportunity they offered.  He told me that he didn’t think it would be a good idea because all the women that were in the army reserves were either ‘whores or lesbians’.  I was shocked but didn’t argue the point because I certainly didn’t want to be labeled a whore or a lesbian.  So I remained in the capacity of a housewife which is what he wanted me to be until he said it was okay for me to continue my education.  I accepted his opinion and never questioned it because I had no opinion of my own; which is sad because “a person who has no opinion and only depend on someone else is just a slave to that someone else.” (Frederick Klopstock)

I was a sad sack because I even used to depend on so-called friends to determine what I was to wear and how I was to dress.  Deep down inside I knew what I wanted but I didn’t want to go against the opinions of those who I thought I needed the approval of.  I had began to whittle myself down in order to please everyone else until I had almost nothing left for me. Somehow I  learned to know who I was and not care what other people thought of who I was.    Yes, it took courage because otherwise I would have  had fear and fear leads to conforming to what others wanted me to do. I just had to be who I was and being who I was became the best thing that I could do to become a better me.  I had to realize that I was the only one who could dare to be me.  Until I made peace with myself, however, I could never be content to be who I really was.

I only had one life to live and I needed to learn how to leave my own footprints in the sand.  So I took the dare, and I dared to be who God meant for me to be.  It has been a journey in spite of many obstacles in my way.  However, each day I have challenged myself over and over again that I have to Dare to be who I am.  Dare to be who you are. You are the only one who can be the best you.