Individualism is the key to living a happy and successful life.
It helps you get out of your comfort zone and develop into the person you really are, individuality helps you discover what you love to do in life.
Slowly, I began finding my identity. When I was younger, I used to be very shy and wasn’t too comfortable with leading or doing things on my own. But then, over time, I began maturing. I started overcoming my shyness which led me to discover (and continue to discover) my individuality.
No one on this planet is the same. We all have a unique individual inside of us that takes time to fully bring out. You may act or try be like someone else, but you will never be that person because of the many things distinguishing us from the people next to us. Once you find what you like to do; over time you will soon find the things you love to do because you have now opened yourself to be your own leader. Being your own leader creates the self-esteem to actually do what you want to do instead of doing what everyone else is doing.
Sometimes, I even have to separate myself from others in order to participate in what interests me. At a young age I started getting involved with dance and acting. As I got older, my interest turned into a love for the two forms of art; once I began separating myself and doing things most people I hung around weren’t doing, I realized I was starting to become my own person.
Once I got to my “double-digit years,” I started becoming very interested in poetry which led to writing music lyrics. These two things took me into my next stage of life and I suddenly was becoming more and more aware of what was going on in the world around me. Now, as a 17-year-old African-American male in the city of St. Louis; I can honestly say dancing, acting, poetry and writing lyrics helped keep me on the path to becoming my own individual.
You don’t have to worry about what others think about what you do as long as what you’re doing is positive and makes you happy. There are a lot of people who know me but don’t know I do all of these things, and that’s alright. One thing that I have learned growing-up and maturing, is that everything in your life doesn’t have to be publicized and put out for the world to see. If you want people to know what you do, then say something. But if not, wait for them to ask, “What do you do in your free time?”
Opening up to people, overcoming my shyness and being my own leader is what ultimately contributed to finding my individuality. I co-host a talk show on the radio, I host an annual Youth Rally sponsored by Better Family Life and many other opportunities have come my way because I let my individualism come out by doing the things I truly enjoy.
What if Dr. Dre and Ice Cube tried to be the same? Or Jay Z tried to be like LL Cool J? Or if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to handle things like Malcolm X? ... Things would be a lot different. They all found their own way, found their own individualism. And that's why they are who are they are today.
I’ll leave you with this, yes it is hard to open up and be your own person; especially in the world we live in today. The only way things will progress is if we find our own individuality. So make sure you “do you,” don’t worry about what others think. Do what you love because only you control your life.
So go out there, show off your individualism!
Caleb Camp is a senior at CBC High School in St. Louis. He has been accepted to Western Illinois University where he will pursue a degree in Broadcasting.