I have a distinct memory that I recall regularly when I think about my life from about 10 years ago. I got onto a shuttle bus on campus at the school I was attending at the time and I felt really, really lonely. I didn’t really think anyone cared about me and that I was worth getting to know. I felt like a nobody. That particular day, however, I didn’t resign to that feeling. Instead, I resolved to become someone everyone would want to know. I wanted everyone to wish that they knew me and wanted to befriend me. I had to prove that I was a somebody. Somebody special.
I don’t know how successful I was at becoming that “somebody” in the next 10 years. All I know now is, that’s the last thing on my mind. It doesn’t matter so much that I’m a somebody to just anybody. Now, it really only matters that I’m a somebody to people I’m close to and care about. And to those people, I don’t have to prove anything. To those people, I am somebody not because of my perceived worth, but just simply because I am.
I think a lot of us go through life trying to prove our worth to the world. It’s really important to us that someone tells us that we are somebody. When we feel worthless, we end up hurting ourselves and sometimes, even others. It hurts too much to be alone or feel like we don’t belong so we keep trying to be something, to be someone. We use people to maintain our self-worth. We end up being defined by our successes and failures, and our sense of self is based much more on what we do than who we are. We define others by what they do, how much they can offer to us, how they benefit us.
I wish for a world different than this. I wish for us to accept each other without having to prove anything. I wish we can look at each other and see each other for who we are. So now I go around wondering who people are when they don’t have to prove anything.
Who are you when you don’t have to prove anything?