You Are You

In front of the bright, blue, and quiet ocean, 14-year-old me looks at the rocks near the sea. I’ve got sand underneath my fingernails from collecting rocks all day. It looks like I have gotten too far off from the rest of my family. I wonder how long it will take for them to find me.
I look at the collection of rocks in my hands, and while I envy the stones, I also loathe them. These rocks make up the world. Even though they look dull and boring, they’re still okay with that. But, I, as a human, wasn’t always okay with how I looked.

Growing up, I always thought of myself as someone who just blended with my background. I was never the smartest one in the room, nor was I the funniest in the room. I was just there. Sitting in geometry class freshman year, I looked around and saw the people that stood out the most—those who were intelligent, the social butterflies, and the funny ones. Where was I in those three groups?

What I failed to realize was that talents and skills don’t always mean having insane smartness, social skills, artistic abilities, and so forth. When it comes to talent, there is no precise definition for it. Changing a tire, emotionally connecting with people, and providing for yourself at a young age, are all examples of overlooked skills and talents. In this day and age, I’d say being genuinely kind and humble hearted is a valuable skill. Others may tend to overlook these talents, thinking they’re small and unnecessary, but they’re not.

Society and social media have constructed the idea of uniqueness so that no one can define what being unique is — having a “one of a kind” ability. I hate to be the one to say the cliché phrase, “you’re perfect just the way you are,” but it’s true.

My father recently told me, “Forget what anyone else can do; focus on what YOU can do.”

It got me thinking. My whole life, I keep asking myself, “What can I do?” instead of asking myself what I could do. If you spend all your life trying to find the one thing you’re good at, what’s the point? When would you use the talent you spent all your time finding?
I have spent too much time thinking about how to be good at something when I could have focused on improving myself and supporting others with the skills I already have. Just because you haven’t found something you’re passionate about right now doesn’t make you any less unique than the person next to you.

Friedrich Nietzsche, a famous philosopher, once said, “One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.”

Don’t spend all your time figuring out what you’re good at. Spend your time finding yourself. Spend time finding a way to love yourself. Everyone has a talent, whether they believe it or not. Some may have found theirs a bit earlier than others, but everyone will find theirs eventually.
So, what I am trying to say is, don’t dwell too much over finding a special skill you have. It will come to you and even if you don’t have it right now, you’re not any less special than the person next to you.

I found my talent through words. Whether writing or talking, I felt the most comfortable in words. Sometimes, my words can be stupid, but they would make the other person smile. Yet, I still have not discovered my full potential. I know that my words are not the only skill I have. I will continue to go out of my comfort zone to see my limits and see my fullest potential, but I am in no rush. And you shouldn’t be either.

As I am writing this, I hope the words I have laid onto this page bring out some comfort within you.
The greatest talent one can have is just being who you are. It will take time and exploration of your passions for you to find yourself, but you can do it, and as you do, you’ll find that just being you is okay.