The “I am who I am” syndrome

“I am who I am, and I’m not changing.”

said the caterpillar before he fell into a puddle and drowned.

What happens to water when it sits for too long? When there is no movement? It becomes stagnant. It stinks. It festers. It harbors pests. It becomes toxic.

Much the same thing can be said for humans. When we stop growing, stop changing, stop metamorphosing, we become stagnant. We fester. And eventually, we become toxic. We are not meant to remain unchanged. Just as the caterpillar, we are meant to grow, to change, to become more beautiful versions of our selves.

Instead, we are faced with a society of people who have exclaimed “I am who I am – if you can’t handle me as I am, that’s YOUR problem, not mine!” all while displaying the toxic (see: harmful to others) traits and behaviors that only benefit themselves. What has happened to us? What has happened to the understanding that growth is a beautiful thing?

There is something amazing in watching someone transform into a more beautiful version of their-self. Whether it is to become a responsible adult, a loving and responsible mother or father, a respectable husband or wife, a child’s role model … growth is beautiful.

What is not beautiful is a 30-something man chasing an 18-year-old girl. A married individual who cannot be faithful. A mother who cannot stop partying long enough to give her child the life (s)he deserves. A father who makes no effort to be a part of his child’s life. A parent who manipulates and abuses his or her child for the sole benefit of him/herself. A husband or wife who abuses their spouse. A pathological liar. A cheat. A manipulator. An annihilator. A grown spoiled brat. An individual who, for their own selfish reasons, refuses to grow. Refuses to learn. Sticks to “I am who I am,” without a second thought for the toxicity they are spreading into the world.

I am completely supportive of the “be proud of who you are” movement. Of putting an end to bullying. Of body positivity and self-love. BUT … at some point, we have to realize that self-love means we have to have the self-awareness to recognize when something needs to change. When WE need to change.

The expectation that the world around us must either “accept us” as we are, or change itself is a childish and selfish, but popular ideology. And, looking out, I suppose it explains a lot of the chaos in the world and in society.

I refuse that ideology. I’m choosing to grow. I want to spread my wings. I want to be, every single day, a more beautiful version of myself than I was yesterday. And I plan to surround myself with those who are also seeking growth. Who are both proud of who they are, and intelligent enough to know that growth never truly stops. That every single day provides an opportunity to spread your wings a little further. I will not become stagnant. I will not fall in a puddle and drown.

That One Blogger

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