Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths, and beauty like no one else, Be the person you know yourself to be - the best version of you - on your terms. Above all, be true to You, and if you cannot put your heart into i, take yourself out of it.
I think about how I had been in the past and it makes me wonder who "I" really am. I know that each of us has the choice of how to behave each day and how we will deal with situations that arise and I try to make the best decisions I can. But in the middle of that, how can I be more "myself" than I am already being? If you really stop to think... we are exactly who we are at every given moment. Yes, even the less-than-stellar times.
Don't get me wrong, there have been times when I made a choice that I could really say was a shining moment. When I left an abusive relationship (more than one), when I stood up for someone else who didn't have the strength to stand on their own, when I supported a large household with the small paycheck I got, when I took a deep breath and drove away from a mostly-stable life to a future that was completely unwritten. These were moments when I was genuinely Me, just as much as the darker times.
I also think about the direction I can turn my life right now. In less than a year I will be in a position that I never, in my 42 years, have been. Alone. For the first time I will be living in a house with no other human. I wonder what changes that will bring within my Self and how I will react to them. I can hope, of course, that those changes will be positive and uplifting. Even so, I know that I need to be honest with myself and accept the times when I react in a negative way and recognize that those reactions are just as Me as the positive ones.
So... even though I'm pretty tired right now, I do hope this all makes sense to anyone reading it. I also hope that you can take a moment and think about how very special you are.