You do You Boo
You don’t have to be what society tells you to.
I know, lil bit of a rogue topic from Lulu but this is a topic that I really feel needs to be spoken about more. Personally, it is something that I am trying to overcome myself constantly, being myself, someone that isn’t necessarily the societal norm of a 20 year old who should be out going wild and carefree whilst I still have my youth. Now don’t get me wrong at times I am 100% that person, on occasion I love to go out and let my hair down, but not quite as much as I am ‘expected to’ and apparently most other people on my uni campus. I call my self the nun or old woman, otherwise known as ‘Lulu the pensioner’. Before coming to uni this was one of my main concerns, that I wasn’t really a big drinker (on my gap year I could probably count the amount of times that I drank alcohol on my hand, let alone get drunk – that was the WHOLE year) and I always got the response of ‘oh well you don’t have to drink if you don’t want to’, to which my reply was well I don’t wanna be the weirdo that doesn’t drink and doesn’t go out. You know FOMO and all that, god forbid that I looked uncool?! …
So first term I went along with the crowd and went out a few nights a week, still pretty tame compared to some people who were hitting the 4 or 5 times a week. But towards the end I just wasn’t feeling it so much. For me obviously since I am really becoming much more interested in my health and the way my body actually feels (on top of my love of cooking and eating well), I was really not enjoying the fact that I knew that I would always eat crap the next day being hungover and I would go to the gym so feel even more like a lazy fat lump. Also I was always super unproductive which I hated. Not necessarily would I wake up at 2 if the afternoon like most others – mainly due to the fact that I have chronic sleeping issues so no matter how hard I try I wake up at the crack of dawn – but I would just have no concentration and drive to do anything apart from eat and drink coffee. But lets not hate on coffee, it holds a dear place in my heart.
Anyway back to it. I know that what I’ve just described is a typical hangover, so nothing new there, however feeling this 3 times a week (a week where I clearly went wild) and having to read each line of whatever article I was attempting to about 4 times in order to just about get to grips with it was starting to bore me. Apparently me wanting to actually be productive with my time and achieve things rather than just bumming about is somewhat not of the norm with university first – or with most of the people who I’ve come in contact with. So I had a really great break over Christmas, where amazingly even though it be the season, I really didn’t drink much at all and you know it left me feeling fab. I came back to uni with really no deep desires to go out much at all – I mean literally once a week if that. Such a thing let me tell you is almost unheard of unless you are what is branded as a ‘loner, geek ,weirdo, have no friends ….’ Or you are the dreaded ‘boring’. Luckily in my flat in halls we seemed to be on somewhat of the same page where the pull of going out quite so much had loosened so I wasn’t sitting in my room whilst the rest of them got hammered in the kitchen super often – but let me tell you I definitely had those nights. I sat there thinking, no I don’t want to go out and I am happy with this decision, but still I sat doubting myself and thinking I was indeed boring. Why was I just not the same as all of them? I do want to socialise and meet new people, but realistically that doesn’t happen in a club – I would very much like to know of anyone who has had a really valuable conversation in a club – that they also remember in the morning as well as who they spoke to. Now I don’t wanna sound all serious Sally, because I will reiterate, I do like going out every now and then, but still have a niggling feeling in the morning that was it really worth it, was that night any better than the rest and why did I put all that rubbish alcohol (and lets be honest whatever was consumed for midnight munchies) in my body. Which is where this whole rant sort of stems from. There are of course many people who are so fine with going out and feeling shit the next day because LOL they're at uni and here to have a good time while they're young and free. So that so fine, YOU do YOU bae. But really that’s not me. I’m interested in cooking and trying new foods, I love working out and feeling myself getting stronger, I like listening to podcasts and reading books that I learn random new things like Buddhism and Ultramarathons, I LOVE to travel and can get lost on Instagram finding all the places that I want to add to my never ending bucket list of places to go and feeling hungover and lazy AF really doesn’t help me to do those things and constantly grow. I want to challenge myself and progress in whatever areas I choose to explore and to do this I need energy and drive which I get from eating well, going to bed early and working out. So no, I don’t think I’m really what society thinks I should be, I think to be honest I never was and I am past it. Everyone I meet generally has always said that I seem much older than I am – I mean that is partly due to the fact that I am almost 6ft and so apparently that makes me seem older anyway – because I’m mature for my age. I think its something that I should (and am trying to) embrace. I’m driven and I’m diligent; if I want to do something, I’ll get it done. I want to achieve things, not necessarily ground breaking and world changing, but why put that off until after uni? Why not just start now?
So, I'm trying to practise what I preach. My alarm is for 7am every morning, then most days I’ll go straight to work out, come back and get the day going. I'm trying to learn more, be it via podcasts, youtube videos or books and go to bed earlier – because every bit of sleep is gold to me. I want to be the ‘best version of my self’ as they say and that comes through taking care of myself and doing what I know is best for me.
People say ‘oh just go out and have fun. This is your time to do it’, well what happens if your fun is not drinking to silly points of inebriation. Maybe your fun (maybe like mine …) is going to find out new cafes for some tasty AF coffee, wild I know, in the day time?! Or maybe you really like walking and hiking or maybe, I don’t know, something obscure like pottery carving. Just go for it, if that’s what you love do it and don’t think that you’re missing out on going out if you’re not really the biggest fan, because if you are then you’re gonna be missing out on what you do love to do. CARVE THAT POTTERY MON AMIE.
What I really hate is when people say ‘just be yourself’, like what does that even mean?! To be yourself you have to know yourself and how many people actually know themselves inside out? So maybe don’t pressure yourself to ‘be yourself’ as though ‘yourself’ is a fixed persona. Maybe just be how you’re feeling – feelings can change, be what interests you, what you want to be. So maybe you don’t live to go out and get wasted like what society thinks a 20 year old should be, like me, or maybe you don’t want to be a ‘grown up’ in a ‘proper’ job behind a desk saving for your first house when you really want to just travel the world or work to help people but that’s not the sensible option because you wont get much money from it and make a career. If there's something constantly nagging you in the back of your mind but you ignore it because it’s not the mainstream, how about you take some time to really thing about it, because if it’s always there whispering to you, it’s probably what you actually want to do and you’re just too scared to listen to, chances are it’s not going anywhere either. Why be the same as everyone else when you can be different and be SO much better. Don’t just be you, be YOU 2.0 that’s epic at doing what you love, or if you don’t know what you love and what you are ‘passionate’ about (I hate that too, the constant pressure to find what your passion is) at least something that you like and lights a spark in you. Don’t just coast along, because after a while coasting gets boring and sometimes you need a few rapids for things to get exciting.