gotta be me

I tell my kids all the time — BE TRUE TO YOU.

Listen to your heart.  Do what feels right and good.  You will know.

And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.  I am here for you.  I will try to help you hear that voice in your heart, as best I can.

And if someone knocks you down when you are standing up for what you believe in — Rise Up.  If they hurt you when you share a part of yourself, move forward.  Do not let others discourage you from being YOURSELF.  Do not let anyone stop you from following your dreams.

Taylor Swift has a song I really love.  It’s called “Ours.”  Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but I am a 36 year old mother of three who really likes her.  (I also like the White Stripes and the National and Dave Matthews and Eminem and Cold Play.  And Adele.  Oh and the Beatles.  I LOVE the Beatles.  Anyway, my point is I like a LOT of different kinds of music.  I love music.)

Anyway, I’m pretty sure this song is about a teenage romance and it really has no relevance in my life at all (thank goodness), but there is a line in it that sticks with me, that I find myself singing over and over again my head:

And don’t you worry your pretty little mind.
People throw rocks at things that shine.

We all deal with hurtful words from others, it is a part of life sadly.  I want my children to know that even in moments when they are flying high, feeling so good about their choices and the life they have built for themselves – there will be people saying and doing things that will hurt them.  Things that will make them second guess who they are and why they love what they love.  Why they do what they do.  I cannot protect them from that.  But I can encourage them to stay true to themselves, to weather the storms.  And I will surround them with my love, always.

This morning as I was driving Will to school we heard a song on Kids Place Live that had me smiling from ear to ear.  Will and I sang along and Gus bopped his head back and forth.  This song makes me SO happy.  I was even happier to hear my little guy singing it.  It’s a rap song by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and it’s called “Gotta Be Me.”  Here are some of my favorite lyrics:

it’s a beautiful thing
being yourself
and not trying to act like
everyone else

I’m a tell you the truth
and you gotta agree
man, I can’t be you, nope
I gotta be me

Hey – sometimes when you play at school

another kids acts like you’re not so cool
they laugh at your clothes or say something mean
and then your good day
feels like a bad dream
but hey – it happens to everyone
so don’t let it stop you from havin’ fun
you don’t have to be like anyone else
but remember
that you got to love yourself

some people think
making you feel bad
will make them feel good
and that’s just sad

but no matter what they do or say
it’s just a game
and you don’t have to play
if they call you weird
and you want them to stop
you can either say “no i’m not!”
or you can say
“yep I’m as weird as can be and you know what?
I love it —
I gotta be me!”

I love that this world is made up of people with all sorts of interests and backgrounds and passions and stories.  I love that we are all different and unique.  And I think those differences should be celebrated and it is my aim to do that within my little family and raise people who respect and admire others for being true to themselves even when they may not share the same interests or history.

I love to watch my kids shine the way that they do, in every aspect of the way that they live their lives.  When something makes them happy – they dive right in and are so truly themselves – not yet constrained by worry about what others might think of them.  I want to help them hang onto that.  I think sometimes it is hard enough to connect with our passions, to figure out what really makes us “tick” – the last thing we need is for the judgement of others to dissuade us from living a life we love, from being true to ourselves.

6 thoughts on “gotta be me

  1. This is just what I needed to hear right now–thank you! This message is universal to everyone. (P.S. I love that TS song, too) Love ya, Jess!

  2. So sweet and so meaningful. It is so important to teach our kids they are valuable beings, they are worthy, they are loved and they deserve to be respected and happy. You are a good mommy 🙂

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