“This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man/Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!” – Hamlet
What Polonius actually meant when he said these famous words to his son is debatable. All lovers of interpetation of literature will have no trouble coming up with more than one interpretation of these words. My favourite of these is simply that one must be honest to themselves about who and what they are in order to have the capacity to be honest in their dealings with the world.
Contrary to what one might think I met and fell for the quote long before I spent quality time with the book. It appeared on the cover of a pocket book of quotes gifted to me by a then very close friend some time before she gifted herself with a bite or 20 of my then boyfriend. As with all things and people in this life, no matter how they exit your life, there is always a contribution of value that they make to you. This, among many others, was hers to mine.
She unwittingly gave me what I think may be the key to my happiness.
It is such an easy trap to fall into…changing to please a lover; changing to please friends; changing to fit in; changing to be accepted; changing to fit a stereotype; changing to look more like someone you admire; changing to fit the societal norm; changing to meet somebody else’s expectation of who and what you are; giving up fundamental pieces of the essence of your values, of who you were raised to be in order to reflect something society is more comfortable with.
Each compromise of your fundamental self that is not in line what is true to you, no matter how small, kills a little bit of your soul each time. It kills a little of your happiness. Of your light.
If you are like me, then laugh, read widely, be a ghost writer in your spare time, try new recipes, love your person, enjoy being loved by him, love eating sour milk and pap even when you make steak and salad for the other people in your home, do your best to figure out marriage, travel, exercise, sleep in, skip breakfast, study more, work, enjoy your job, learn about interior decor, dress well, be deep every so often, blog, look pretty, hang out with friends, love your friends’ babies, have conversations with toddlers, judge racist car guards, be an instagram addict, love cats, cry when you feel like it even when you have no good reason, spend time in the Dischem makeup aisle after a bad day (even if you don’t buy anything), fail at wing-tip eyeliner, cuddle your person, enjoy his peculiar sense of humour, enjoy sex, enjoy being alone sometimes, get angry sometimes, be frustrated on the odd ocassion, be unreasonable at times, be on time, eat roadside roasted corn, 2 at a time, any chance you get, absolutely hate waking up in the morning…the list goes on. It’s worth protecting.
What is true to you need not be profound. It simply needs to be true. That is enough.