On changing and being myself

On changing goals and being myself | Adventure & the Wild (Photo by Sergey Zolkin)

There are a lot of women that I admire, particularly in the outdoor and art industries.

They’re the strong ones, the ones who climb mountains and stare fear and rejection in the face. They’re brave and driven, risk-takers and unbelievably creative. They know who they are and what they want and they’re willing to do what it takes to make it happen. They’re the dreamers and the doers, and I want to be those things, too.

Too often, though, I put myself in a box. I define myself and set parameters for who I’m allowed to be. After all, I’ve never been a risk-taker. As a kid, I was a cautious and shy with a big imagination. I lived in books and loved to learn. I was not athletic or brave.

I was the smart one who got straight A’s.
I was the artist, constantly making things.
I was the writer and the bookworm.
I was the sweet but shy one, the cautious one, the fearful one.

And somehow, I’ve been living under the conclusion that, since that’s the kind of person I’ve always been, that’s who I have to be forever. What? (Newsflash: your childhood personality doesn't have to determine your entire life.)

Because of that, though, I feel like I have to become a different person to do the things I want to do. I look at the women I admire, and I convince myself that I have to be just like them to achieve these new goals. I put on their personalities, interests and accomplishments like a costume, and as a result, my accomplishments don’t feel like my own; they feel like a stranger’s, like a coat that doesn’t fit quite right.

It’s one thing to be inspired by someone. Having role models to look up to, people who have paved the way before me—that’s important and empowering (because if they can do it, so can I). However, there’s a fine line between being inspired by someone and using them as a measuring stick of who I am. Trying to be just like another person—no matter how amazing they are—is damaging.

Having goals and aspirations is a good thing, but it’s vital to reach them as myself. I don’t have to be the people I admire to do the things I want to do. I’m not playing a character; I’m living my life. I am me and I can do those things as me—not as an embodiment of someone else.

In case you missed it, the new #LoveIsTheRealAdventure line has officially launched and is available for purchase in the shop! I am so excited about these new designs, and I hope you love them, too :)