Friday, 30 September 2011

Learning how to be 'you'

Even if you are not a Lady Gaga fan, you have to admit that she has a style that is all her own! Nobody can pull off the looks that she does, and those who try may be labeled with terms that are not very flattering. But there are other people who could fall into similar categories. Nobody can moonwalk like Michael Jackson did. Nobody can master several sports like Bo Jackson did. Nobody can make a mess of reality TV like…well, you get the picture. While the examples that were given are very specific and very unique, thus, setting these individuals above others who are arguably less unique in that way, that does not mean that the rest of us are not unique in our own way. Don’t start rolling your eyes yet. Hear me out. I’m sure you’ve had that pep talk from a parent, coach, teacher, or busybody who told you that you should strive to be the best that you can be. This speech may have also been littered with “find something that makes you shine” and “just be sure that you do you.” All of those encouragements are absolutely true and I would not disparage them for one minute.
But if you look at your life, as an Expat Teen, are you able to be a unique person? Let me re-phrase that: Are you able to be a genuinely unique person? Anyone can talk differently, walk differently, and dress differently. But as a person who has had life experiences that most of your Monocultural friends may not even be able to dream about, are you able to take those experiences and mold them into the best “you” that you can be? Or do you use those experiences to boast to those around you or make yourself seem better than the next person? Can you be unique without being a fake? If so, are you pleased with your efforts? If you aren’t able to be unique without being a fake, why not?
No matter how you answered those questions, it may help you to know that there are other Expat Teens around the world who are experiencing difficulty with being themselves. When you are constantly on the move, it is easy to change certain aspects about yourself. Adolescence is a time when that naturally happens anyway (much to the dismay of many parents!); however, when you add the natural hormonal changes to the transient lifestyle that you are living, it makes “uniqueness” take on a whole new meaning.
In Expat Teens Talk, your fellow Expat Peers expressed some of their difficulties with fitting in, being unique, and finding out who they are as individuals. Stay tuned to this blogspot for more information about how you can get a copy of the book. In the meantime, TALK to us and let us know what’s on your mind…

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