The Intense Insecurity of “Being Yourself”

One of the reasons I’m so intensely insecure and self-conscious is because everyone keeps talking about “be yourself” — but the moment you open up, you’re only accepted when “being yourself” is a certain type of self. It’s really romantic that we push a magical version of vulnerable and unique, but the actual opening up part is dang hard and uncomfortable and requires a kind of love that most people won’t muster, since they’ve never really had to. It ain’t like Hollywood, ever.

If you find the sort of friend who truly loves you, I mean the weird obnoxious squeaky sweaty you, however imperfectly, keep them close and forgive them for when they do not understand. Friendship will take more than once and more than the pretty picture in our heads.

— J.S.