This Thanksgiving had me hard-pressed to feel grateful. Different playing yourself than being yourself. Probably we push too much to be what society only expects of us. I am not printing what is expected of me now. The reason is that I want to be honest.
Please understand, until quite recently I was not feeling well, probably from stress. Stress is a terrible thing. Yes. Not wanting to upset people, I tried to carry on. “Trying” cannot really represent what I was doing in effort. With too much stress, I became someone I didn’t like.
Now I feel good about not blaming myself. My first challenge was to accept that I am only human which means I am not perfect. Life’s challenges got the best of me, but I forgive my human flaws. My second challenge is to persevere with the idea that I come out on the other side stronger. In time perhaps I will grow to view these challenges as character-defining, but presently I am pushing to no longer feel like a shadow of my old self.
I do not share these thoughts so that you will feel sorry for me. I am grateful in many ways for all that I have. I share these sentiments as a message for anyone else struggling to fit the mold society expects of us. I want to encourage us all to be more raw and authentic in our expressions of how we feel.
I want to be honest in saying that not every season in life is good. This past year did not lend itself to much celebration and that’s okay. I am choosing now to be open about the struggles because I want to lessen the stress and just be me. I am sure everyone has felt this way at some point so I hope my vulnerability encourages you to be more honest about what you are going through. Stress, anxiety, sadness – they don’t make you weak and they are nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t just play yourself…..Be yourself.
3 thoughts on “My Not-So-Grateful Thanksgiving”
Alex you are an amazing guy. If anyone deserves to have a good upcoming year it is you. I am so glad Gregory has you as a friend
Alex, I want to thank you for your recent thoughts. I too, have been pretending to be another person for the last 6 years. You have made me realize, I must be myself again. For my mind health, and physical. You sir, are an inspiration!
Your mom shared your blog with me, and although I have enjoyed reading all your writings (and seeing your book recommendations!), I found this post in particular to be very insightful. I actually think it’s quite rare for someone so young to have embraced the concept of being true to yourself and not playing the role that society expects of you. It frankly takes many of us (most of us?) much longer to figure that out.
Your words reminded me of a story from earlier this fall about a young woman who was shown on ESPN TV sitting all alone in the stands and crocheting at a college football game. It’s a great article for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the woman is quoted as saying she’s come to be at peace with her atypical interests and how she’s a much better person for embracing who she is. I’ve emailed the article to your mom in case you’d like to read it.
Happy New Year!