“When I was in junior high, I wore Tommy Hilfiger polos and Dr. Martens because everyone else was wearing Tommy Hilfiger polos and Dr. Martens. I doused myself in CK One perfume, because my best friend doused herself in CK One perfume.
When I was in high school, I played softball because everyone else was playing softball. I shopped at Express, and ate cheese sticks for lunch, and pretended to like the movie ‘She’s All That,’ because that’s what everyone else was playing. That’s what everyone else was eating. That’s what everyone else was watching.
I bought a G-Shock watch because the coolest girl in school had a G-Shock watch, and I bought every plaid skirt I could find, because Cher wore plaid skirts in ‘Clueless,’ and you know, that Britney girl wore one too.
In college, and this is really embarrassing, I read books like ‘Attractor Factor’ and ‘How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You,’ because I felt like I needed to be somebody else to deserve love. I felt like I needed an extreme makeover to get attention. It makes me cringe even to think about it now, but it’s true.
I had no idea who I was. I had no idea what my identity was. I had no idea what my calling was, or what my purpose was, or what my role was, so I tried to create one. I tried to create one that was popular. I tried to create one that was liked. I tried to create one that fit in, and in doing so, I created a version of me that looked just like everybody else.
I became a continual copy-cat, and it continued into adulthood.
I didn’t do it intentionally; I just didn’t know any other way to be. I didn’t know what my strengths were, so I tried to copy her strengths. I didn’t know what my look was, so I tried to copy her look. I didn’t know who I was, so I followed her around, trying to be who she was.
And it didn’t work.
I wasn’t satisfied, I wasn’t pacified, I wasn’t qualified.
I was exhausted.
I was tired of chasing everyone else. I was tired of trying to keep up. I was tired of pretending.
And when I finally stopped trying so hard. When I finally stopped looking around. When I finally stopped searching for who to be, and just…just was, I learned to breathe.
I learned that you can’t change the world by looking just like it. I learned that you can’t find happiness when you’re too preoccupied to notice it. I learned that you can’t feel complete when you’re looking for another human to fill your soul. I learned that you can’t be content when you’re constantly chasing after a carrot on a string.
Look for Jesus.
Become who He created you to be.
Because you won’t get it from shopping at the same store as everyone else. You won’t get it from looking like the girl in the magazine. You won’t get it from a book, or from borrowing someone else’s style. You won’t get it from trying to have what someone else has, or do what someone else does, or be who someone else is being.
You won’t get it from trying to look just like the world, you’ll get it be setting yourself apart from the world.
You’ll get it by following Christ.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Weatherly. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here and Twitter here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
Read more from Amy here:
‘I don’t fit in. They don’t really want me there. I wonder why I wasn’t invited. I walk up to a circle of people and don’t know whether to force my way in, or hang on the outside, twiddling my thumbs.’
Provide beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with your friends and family.