Even when everyone else is taken, sometimes it's hard to actually be yourself.

I finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and one of her commandments to be happy is to ‘be Gretchen’. As someone who frequently thinks about what others think and puts her thoughts aside for the sake of being agreeable, I am starting to wonder how much time do I actually spends on being me.

So let’s start with writing down the definition.

For starter, I know what I like. I like coffee, solitude, and a good book. I love being productive. I love intellectual conversations and stories. I hate theories but I resonate deeply with experiences. I love listing down the lessons learned. I love to debate. I am (most often) a selfish human being. I will be the first one to cry. However, I am the quickest to reconcile. I am extremely easy to be annoyed, but extremely easy to be pleased as well.

And I know what I hate. I hate small talks. I hate people pushing down their opinions on others to take. I hate people who complain and yet do nothing to change the situation. I hate bossy people. I hate ineffective, unproductive use of time (such as: doing nothing in two-hour traffic, being present in a mindless meeting, doing five revisions just because the boss doesn’t give a full instruction and change it to her (or his) heart’s desire every single time). I kinda hate working in a group.

Guess what? I know what I wish to be as well. I wish I were such a better singer. In karaokes, I envy every single friend who can sing and scream and still not have a single off-key moment. I wish I enjoy karaokes, too. Or small talk. I wish I were a better listener, and a more selfless person. I wish I enjoy literature.

I wish I can resist the impulse on gossiping about people, or to listen to gossips. I wish I can be more humble. I wish I were a more risk-taker and a more kind-hearted, loving person whom all cherish to be with. I wish I can care less of what people think, and not lament for the whole night on a single negative comment of the day. I wish I were a skinny girl who dresses well everywhere she goes.

I wish I were a good ballroom dancer.

You know what? I wish I were more perfect.

To some extent, I am a people-pleaser (except on paper). I find it instinctive and natural to agree on a comment, or to tone down my own opinion by ten degrees to find its way aligning with another’s. Ten minutes later, though, I almost always regret my decision of toning down my opinion, as it makes me look like I don’t have an opinion myself.

You know, sometimes it’s hard for me to ‘be Marcella’. I can easily get jealous, hoping I were someone else, instead of being perfectly comfortable with my own skin.

But when I am really ‘being Marcella’, I become the happiest version of myself. I think, starting now, it’s really worth the effort to consciously decide to be me.


Photo by TJ Aminoto