On my desk at work, I have a fortune from a cookie – you know the kind, they come with take out Chinese food. Normally, I throw these out – the fortunes, not the cookies. But this one struck me and hung around long enough to be taped to a framed picture of my kids.
It says, “One must dare to be himself, however frightening or strange that self may be.”
For someone who grew up in a generation that was discouraged from standing out when they were young, this complex yet simple quote really resonates. It resonated so much, in fact, that I couldn’t believe it was made up by someone trapped in a cookie factory. So I looked it up.
It turns out that it is a fairly common fortune – or at least that it resonated with others – as I found may references to it as coming from a cookie. But I also found a very similar quote from the poer May Sarton, a quote that I can only assume inspired the fortune (or perhaps the other way around, but somehow I doubt it):
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may be.”
Daring to be your own strange self isn’t sufficient. We must all dare to be who we are.
In recent years, I’ve learned the value of transparency and of working toward self-set goals. Be honest about who you are and work toward what you want – not what you think others want you to want. Now to be clear, being yourself isn’t a license to be a jerk. I also believe that being kind and considerate is critical. But somehow, when I sincerely focus on either one of those, the other comes more easily.
So that’s what has inspired me to start this potentially frightening and strange blog. I’m going to try to write what I want, not what I think others are looking for. I’m not going to look for comments or validation, but I will welcome discussion.
I’ll be honest. I’ve started blogs before. But in the back of my head, those were about the stage face me. This, to the best of my ability to put into words, will just be me. I don’t know what that’s going to look like. It may just be me capturing ideas or putting concepts on a page. It may be fictions or snippets of fiction. It’s likely to be strange and possibly sometime frightening.
It will be whatever I dare to be.