"People are as individual as snowflakes, they kinda look alike but no two are the exactly the same, and all classification is the root of prejudice." ― Craig Ferguson, host, "The Late Late Show"
I've been a creative as long as I can remember. Writing, photography, slideshows, web, social media, fashion design, PR, writing for magazines, newspapers, and books. You name it I have tried it, and a hungry consumer of all of these.
The stage has always pulled me in as well. Tap dancing, piano, gymnastics, public speaking, modeling (well, I tried), theater. I absolutely love to be on TV.
In short, I am a performer. I like to study it, to do it, and to help others find their way to self-expression.
Being who I am makes me feel alive. If that is selfish, then I am selfish. If I'm making excuses and rationalizations for underlying unconscious drives, for narcissism, for a shitty upbringing - I don't think so, but even if so, so be it.
This is my race, and I'm running it. You have one, too. Some of you refuse to see it, or to get on the track. Maybe someone told you that you "should" be just like them, that you're "crazy" and that "it's time to grow up and cut it out."
You not only can be yourself, you must be.
Paraphrasing Joel Osteen: You have a special, soulful, solely-your-own mission in life. And your talent represents the tools you need.
I'll take it a step further. You are spiritually forbidden to try and be what you are not - to turn away from the unique kind of snowflake that you are.
Do you feel like being reincarnated because you didn't carry out your job in this life?
Look. You don't have to try very hard here. Just unlearn. Unburden yourself from the weight of convention, what "they" told you, the finger-shakers and naysayers, the insecure, the bullies.
When it's right, it feels right, and you know it.
You are not hurting other people by being yourself. Whoever tells you that, they're the one that's crazy, or more likely they selfishly want to take something from you.
That isn't to say that you can just run over people, hurt your family, fail to fulfill your responsibilities. Artists unfortunately are notorious for that.
But for the most part, good people tend to bury themselves under a mountain of unimportant nonsense in the mistaken belief that these actions make them "righteous." They somehow think it's "wrong" to discover, release and unleash the natural-born talent they were given. To give their gifts to the world.
So now it is time - get up.
Get other people out of your way. Get out of your own way. Give yourself permission.
Still procrastinating? I can hear you over there.
Stop making excuses.
Make the time.
Take one little tiny step forward.
Just do it.
Dannielle Blumenthal is a seasoned communications professional with nearly two decades of progressive, varied experience in the public sector, private sector, and academia as well as her own independent, freelance sole proprietorship. This blog is written in her personal capacity and does not reflect the views of her employer or the U.S. government as a whole. Photo credit: Peter Mooney / Flickr.