Guest Post Series

(Guest Post) Remembering Who You Are


Everyone in our lives has their own agenda for how they think we should be living, and they push their agendas on us whether we realize it or not. The agendas stem from their own prejudicial upbringings ingrained in them by their parents and their parents before them. To walk away from someone else’s ideas for your life is a very brave thing to do, so it’s no wonder that most people I know haven’t done it yet. We live our lives in fear, crippling fear, that we will not have the money to take care of ourselves and all of the things we want to do in our lives.

We are afraid to fail.

We’re so afraid, in fact, that we take that fear and let it control us to the point of paralyzing terror.

Don’t question your parents; they might not pay for college.

Don’t question your boss; she might fire you.

Don’t question religion; you might go to hell.

Don’t question the majority; they might ostracize you.

Are you tired of “might” yet? Do you realize how many brilliant minds and free thinkers were those that were cast out by the same majority that ridiculed their brilliance?

What are you really so afraid of?

It’s easy to place blame on others when we live by their rules. It’s easy to say something didn’t work out because of someone else or circumstances that were outside of our control. The thing is, though, if we really want something we make it happen. Sometimes the journey to figuring out what we want traps us into the same old over-analytical spiral that closes our minds and hearts because we are so damned afraid to be who we are.

The common threads in your life are easy to spot when you open your eyes to them. When you look back at the things that lit you up inside, the things that took your breath away and made you feel like you could fly, those are your common threads. Those threads hold your heart together when outside influences and false internal influences threaten to pull it right through your chest.

Do you even remember what made you laugh and smile and calm and excited all at the same time? If you can’t remember then you are stuck in the spiderweb, and you have to slowly remove each sticky silk thread until you are left standing on your own. It can be scary to be left standing on your own, but in this life we are all we have.

It’s too hard to be all things to all people when you can’t even be yourself in your own heart.

It’s so easy to see the faults or fears in others. We revel in pointing them out because it makes us feel as if our own lives aren’t dripping through our hands, completely incapable of catching it and making any sense of it all. It’s harder, though, to be solid in our own skin, not squirming our lives away.

That judgment of others we don’t truly know, that nervous laughter when someone questions something you know in your heart to be true, those are all excuses we throw up to deflect our own insecurities about who we want to be and who we don’t think we have the strength to be.

When you have taken the time to remember who you really are and you embrace that path, life becomes so much easier to bear. It becomes pleasant and it becomes beautiful because you aren’t in a war with your own soul. At the end of the day, that’s the only one that matters. “Be true to yourself” isn’t just a glib saying; it’s the most real advice I could ever give anyone. You owe it to yourself and these measly years we get to explore this beautiful world.

Once you accept yourself it becomes so much easier to accept others because your heart is calm and patient. You see in others what it took you years to see in yourself: that spark of knowing who they are and the fear they feel in exploring it.

To hell with money and recognition and the Kardashians. What are the core values of your life and your heart? And why aren’t you living by them? Please stand up for yourself because, often times, no one else will. Remember that your agenda for your life is the most important. I’m not talking a 5-year plan. I’m talking about your common threads. Weave your life together and make it beautiful. Weave a grand tapestry that is completely unique and completely yours. Live it and own it and shine brighter than you ever have before.

You have an utterly brilliant life. Start appreciating the fact that you get to choose what to make of it.

About the Author: Brianne likes to think she’s a responsible big kid with none of the whining but all of the childlike wonder. She’ll make you snort a drink out of your nose, and dogs love her more than they love you. Those two things are common threads in her life of which she’s very proud.

If you want to keep tabs on her, the best way to do so is at @BrianneVillano. She usually talks about helping authors use social media, atheism, and why Brithey Spears’ recent songs scare the bejeezus out of her on, and she also discuss dogs and pet-sitting on @PetSittingTwit.


Brianne is taking part in a two-month guest series featuring writers across the blogosphere here on twenty(or)something while I take a brief hiatus. Want to participate?
Email me at twentyorsomething[at] or say hi on Twitter!

9 thoughts on “(Guest Post) Remembering Who You Are”

    1. Brianne: First, thanks for making me cry when I first read it. Second, I couldn’t wait to post this afterwards and comment. Nothing has been more poignant to my personal life this week than this post, especially considering the posts Finding Faith Again and A Drop in the Ocean from earlier.

      Here, you have said everything I’ve wanted to say but could never verbalize. In your words, you have assuaged any self-consciousness about the journey I’m on and, most particularly, a part of me that I’d kept a bit hidden, for fear of misunderstanding and judgment.

      I gained enough courage/esteem this past week to finally say what I’d been wanting to say, to put into words what I previously hadn’t been able to, but still, it almost felt easier if I would have kept that hidden, wondering what people’s reactions would be.

      What I found, though, is that I just don’t care. This is my personal journey, this is who I am — you don’t have to like it, you don’t have to like me. That’s my job. It has taken me YEARS — maybe even my whole life — to discover that fact. The people who matter will always matter, I’ve always said this time and again, but it’s time I stated believing it. The people who love you will love you. And that’s that, that’s what matters.

      “The common threads in your life are easy to spot when you open your eyes to them. When you look back at the things that lit you up inside, the things that took your breath away and made you feel like you could fly, those are your common threads.”

      These words have stirred my soul because this is exactly what I’ve felt this week. Nothing sings truer to me than this journey, nothing speaks more loudly than, finally, a recognition and acceptance of who I am, how I feel, and how and what I love. Honestly, as corny as it sounds, this is my happiness, when I’m feeling most connected; this is how I know that, no matter others’ opinions, what I’m pursuing is true to me — my soul feels like it could fly.

      I’m going to end this comment before I start crying again. What can I say, Brianne, this post has absolutely moved me, and I hope it does others — I hope, at the very least, that others read it and take it to heart and apply it to their own lives — for whatever their own personal journeys are and whatever self-doubts they might have.

      It’s an absolute pleasure to host this. Thank YOU.

      1. Your reply made me tear up.

        That feeling of soaring through your life is something we should all get to experience no matter our lot in life and I am SO GLAD that you feel it!

        You are so right that this is your journey and no one else’s. We get one chance. One. Why the hell would we want to waste that chance on what other people plan for our lives when we could exploit it for everything it’s worth and fill our lives with joy and purpose?


  1. This was fantastic. I know so many people who need to read this! I feel like I was even the person you describe in the beginning at first, but I gathered up my courage and formed a strong, very strong internal locus of control that enabled me to take charge and try to achieve what I wanted. I feel purposeful, confident, hopeful and happy as a result.

    1. Hey Amber! I’m so glad you stopped by Susan’s blog. I know a TON of people who need the reassurance to pursue their actual goals as opposed to their imposed ones.

      I’m so glad you had the courage and means to achieve all that you have. You’re a role-model for those that are too scared to realize that there’s another way to live. That’s pretty amazing. :o)

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  3. hey, this post really touched every single part of me, im in this place where am really lost and i simply have no idea who i am and what do i want in life , and i read this and it makes me cry, it hits me that i’m so down and lost and i don’t even have the well to live anymore, then to read these words and i realize that its ok to feel down and lost and i only need to find the courage to get on my feet and search within myself , my soul for who i am, then maybe i wont be this lifeless person anymore…thank u very much for this.

    1. Hey Wassan,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. We are all on this journey to find out who we are and what we’re here for but what no one ever really tells you is that you already know. No one knows yourself better than you, so who better to reach inside and figure out what you already know. No external force can do that for you; not a mentor, not a religion, not even your parents or best friends. You are the expert on you. As long as you remember that, the common threads will become clearer and clearer by the second. Good luck, my friend.


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