There’s a lot of self discovery that happens between the ages of 16 and 21. As we grow up we begin to learn more about who we are, what we like and what we don’t like, who we want to be and who we don’t want to be. I think we can all agree that most of this isn’t figured out overnight but mostly through experiences, relationships and the messiness of life. At 21 I thought I would have it all figured out that I would know exactly who I want to be and what I want to do. Discovering who you are looks different for every individual. Some people have to make the same “mistake” 100 times before they realise that maybe that person and/or situation isn’t for them and that’s completely okay. Your process should be different. What usually gets in the way of this is comparison. Especially at this age it’s so easy to feel like you have to be the same as everyone else and that maybe something is wrong with you if you don’t like all the same things your friends do. The more we fall into this trap of comparison the more we lose sight of the beauty of our uniqueness (psalm 139:14 ); that you have something special to give to this world and you are made to be yourself, unapologetically. I’ve spent so much of this time apologising for who I am, the person God has made me to be. The more I discover what I want from life the harder it gets to fit into this box that everyone else seems to be comfortable with. The more I get comfortable with the person God has created me to be the less I want to settle. In fact, when we hide our true selves we are doing the world and the people around us a disservice. I’m learning to say yes to myself and no to shame, because more often than not it’s the voice in our heads that keeps us from being authentically us. I think we can all relate to that voice of fear that tells us that our true selves will be rejected so it is better to hide. I’m here to tell you (and myself) that it is not better to hide. I’m here to tell you that God made you unique and perfect as you are. The very thing that God placed inside of you, that makes you different, is the very thing the enemy wants to take from you. The joy you spread, the light you have and the strength you possess the enemy wants to push down so you don’t reach any sort of greatness that God has prepared for you. I don’t want to apologise for who I am anymore. I want this label of “too much” or “too little” to be replaced with enough, more than enough. The more I make room for who I am, the more space I give to people around me to also be themselves. Let’s stop striving to be people that we are not but instead strive for authenticity and realness. Let fear of what people think fall to the wayside and fall in love with who God says you are. His voice tells us that we are loved no matter what, exactly where we are and for exactly who we are.