In some point in our lives, some of us wear masks and put on a show to portray ourselves in a different light than we are actually living in. We may try to live beyond our means to keep up with the Jones’s or say we are in a good place in our lives when we are really falling apart. As I was growing up, everyone had a label of how loyal, transparent and honest people were with others. You were either real, fake or someone that did or didn’t “keep it 100”, but those labels were only defined by how one interacts with the people they’re surrounded with. I believe those labels can be applied to more than your friendships. I found it’s pretty easy for some people to be honest with others but struggle to be honest with themselves. The things individuals lie to themselves about seem to range in levels of importance and seriousness like: “I’ll start eating better next week” or having a smile on your face when you’re crying on the inside but convincing yourself that you’re fine. Being honest with yourself is more difficult than it sounds because no one knows the truth but you.


How honest are you with others? How honest are you with yourself? Who do you portray yourself as? Who are you really? I believe everyone has had a time in their lives when they struggled with being honest with themselves or knowing who they were, myself included. From high school through college, I was always trying to make others happy and conform to my environment and the people I surrounded myself with. In high school, I surrounded myself with performing arts students, athletes, nerds and gangs as well. Looking back at things now, I did that not because they were my friends but because I didn’t know who I was, so I wanted to see how everyone else lived their lives to see if any of them fit me. During my Junior year in college, I had to take time to find myself and figure out exactly who I was and what I wanted. To do that, I took a lot of time to be by myself and really became my own best friend.


During that time of self-discovery, I was asked to write an essay on a song that has inspired me in life. I thought about Nas – “I Can” and R. Kelly – “I Believe I Can Fly”, but I wanted to do something more creative. Now I know this guy has been on somewhat of a hiatus and people aren’t agreeing with him lately, but he has made some monumental music with long-lasting messages. I decided to write my paper on Kanye West – “Everything I Am”. This song speaks about not trying to be what everyone else is. Be you and be happy with who you are. Instead of thinking about what you want to be, take some time to think about what you aren’t or don’t want to be and then take a look at yourself. “Everything I’m not, made me everything I am.” (West)