The worst thing you can do in life is to change yourself to make others happy. It can be difficult to keep up the act for a long time and can eventually take a toll on your own happiness because you are not being your authentic self. It is your life to live, not anyone else’s… so it makes sense to be doing things you enjoy and being someone you are happy with.
Let me introduce myself.
I am Toni-Ann Nikita Murphy.
I’m a chronic overthinker. Even though I’m fully aware that life is unpredictable, I like to play a game called ‘plan for every eventuality’. It’s the perfectionist in me rearing its ugly head, because I don’t deal with failure well. The logic behind this behaviour, is that if I can plan for everything, then I have control over the outcome and there’s no way things can go wrong. Of course, that’s not how life works, so this plan sometimes fails and I come face to face with my shortcomings. I’m working on it though. I’m working hard to do better and see things from a different perspective.
I’m a problem-solver, not a natural emotional supporter. For me, challenges and obstacles can be solved practically. For example: didn’t get the job? Work out what went wrong and fix it; was it a bad interview, not the right skills etc. all of those things can be worked on. I have a habit of applying this mentality to every and any problem, which I soon realised wasn’t a one size fit all approach. Especially when my friends had problems of their own. My brutalist approach of a step by step guide to get over a guy or get better grades didn’t always go down well. Sometimes people (including me) need emotional support before I charge in with my checklist of solutions. By always approaching my problems in a practical way, I was putting my emotions on the back burner and never addressing how I felt about the challenges I was facing. Which is problematic as hell because you can’t move forward if you haven’t been able to get over the past. I’m still a problem-solver, I still think that’s the best way to deal with difficult situations but now I actually take the time to do an emotional check before I start working on the issues.
I like to keep myself busy, because restlessness is idleness. One summer I even made soap and attempted to grow some veggies, just so I would have something to do when I wasn’t working. I like dystopian novels because they explore different creepy ways our future might unfold. I’m an introverted-extrovert and sometimes I need a whole weekend to myself to recharge because I’m not a naturally social person and it really drains me to be ON all the time. I find puns punny (get it?) and own too many graphic t-shirts with ironic-not-so-ironic messages on them. Every so often I will get freaked out by the uncertainty of the future, and find myself knee deep in an existential crisis but then be right as rain in the next hour. I’m melodramatic on my quiet days and a sensationalist when I get over-excited. I speak too fast whenever I talk about things I’m passionate about. I’m terrible at hiding my facial expressions, but my facial expressions are comical. I make impulsive decisions and act spontaneously when my emotions are involved. So now, I try and implement a ‘cooling off period’ if I realise that things are getting too heated. I skip small talk and go straight for life’s unanswered questions. And I’m not ashamed to express my love for the Kardashian family.
Now, it’s impossible to tell you everything there is to know about me, especially as I am still on a journey of becoming the best version of myself, which involves finding out new things along the way. What I can tell you though, is that I am 100% happy with who I am, and I live my life unapologetically as myself.
There are billions of people on this planet, the opinions of one or a few should not make you feel like you have to change your entire essence. You could make the best cheesecake in the entire world, but not everyone likes cheesecake.
Within Psychology, it is widely believed that personality is fixed. We cannot change who we are, and whilst I agree with this principle, I also believe that we can do better. We might not be able to completely get rid of the parts of our personality we don’t like, but through self-development we can make it so that we are not held prisoners by our worst vices.
Own the best bits and the not so pretty bits, because that’s what makes you you. There is no one else like you, and I wouldn’t change you for the world.