I was invited to contribute a blog for The Declaration of You's BlogLovin' Tour, which I'm thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they've craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do!
Uniquity is an interesting topic for me.
For most of my life, I felt incredibly out of place... like I was born at the wrong time and that I really didn't belong anywhere, or with anyone for that matter. Regardless of who I was around (even family), who my friends were or who I was in a relationship with, I felt isolated and out of place. It was pretty rough.
For many years, I kept who I was tucked safely inside. I simply didn't view the world the way everyone else did. I had no interest in the things they did and I was far deeper, more troubled and more intense than anyone I knew. For me to speak my unique truth was asking to be looked at like a crazy person.
So instead of following my unique path, I did all the things I was "supposed" to do, and even better than my peers.
I graduated high school early and went to art school for graphic design. I was in a long-term relationship with my high school sweetheart. I bought a townhouse and a new car. Graduated at the top of my class and had an amazing job right out of school.
Despite having everything I thought I needed to be happy, I wasn't. To make it worse, I was plagued with not understanding why so many of us spent all of our time working so hard to make money in order to buy things to impress people we don't know. I was living life like everyone else and felt completely dead inside.
Then I experienced my quarter-life crisis.
I had a moment, sitting in my perfect little townhouse office, where I felt like I finally woke up. I looked around and wondered where the heck I was and how the heck I got there. This wasn't me and this wasn't what I wanted. But at the same time, having lost sight of what made me me (my uniquity), I had no idea what I did want.
You can read my story here to hear how the QLC treated me. It was a long process... while job hopping and feeling lost day in and day out, I stumbled across a random blog. If you're familiar with blogging several years ago, you probably remember how easy it used to be to jump from one blog to another and discover amazing individuals sharing their lives and stories on the internet. I was hooked.
I started blogging anonymously... even that terrified me. To share myself with the world? It's a wonder I didn't break out in hives! Having an anonymous name helped and I slowly began working through my quarter-life crisis and all the trying times that went with it. I blogged anonymously for about four years under different names and domains.
One day in 2009, I bought a domain with my name and set up a blog.
I was panicky.
I wrote a handful of posts sharing my unique view of the world and my unique experiences in it, but I didn't share them. I was too terrified to. Even sharing this part of me -- or I should say the real me -- with my family felt threatening. I was so different and being judged for that was too hard to bear after "going it alone" for so long.
I'm not sure what was special about the post or the day... but I finally shared a post on Facebook. I'm pretty sure I also quickly attempted to bury it with other things, but then a funny thing happened. Someone thanked me for sharing my thoughts. Since that post, hundreds of people have done the same.
Putting myself and my unique truth out there was the hardest and most rewarding thing I've ever done. And being different? I'm so much more than okay with it now. I understand now that I'm not supposed to fit in. That's not my role or my purpose in this world. My role is to share my unique view and experience in the hopes of creating a positive impact in the lives of others, and ultimately, the world.
Being your unique self is your role.
We are all unique, and that's beautiful.
Show up as you are and share your truth with others. It will lead to deeper connections, more fulfilling relationships and experiences, and you'll find your passion and purpose in this world. It's not complex and it won't necessarily be about saving the planet or solving the hunger issues of the world... your purpose is to be you.
Fully, uniquely, beautifully YOU. Nothing and no one else.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."
For more by Stephenie Zamora, click here.