People say it all the time, and you hear it again and again, maybe especially if you’re a young adult.
It’s a great message, the idea that if you just “be yourself” everything will work out–and even if it doesn’t, you’ll be okay. It’s powerful and empowering…and potentially very scary. I mean, think about it. Imagine, putting yourself out there like that, being who you are regardless of what people think, what they may say, how they may react. You also have to know who you are in the first place, and that is tough for most adults let alone a teenager who is still trying to figure out her place in the world.
Like I said: powerful yet scary stuff.
I work with young kids, and school is about to start. I was having a hard time deciding what to write this week when I saw all the back-to-school posts. That got me thinking about how daunting starting a new school year can be.
And then…I thought about Sally :).
One of the things I love best about Sally Spitz (the main character of ADORKABLE) is that she is completely herself. She loves what she loves and who she loves wholeheartedly. Whether it’s quoting Yoda, wearing Harry Potter memorabilia, re-enacting her favorite scene from a movie that almost no one knows, or admitting to her best friend that she needs a fake boyfriend, Sally is who she is. Unapologetically. Like a proud author-parent, it’s also one of the things I’m most proud of.
That doesn’t mean she isn’t insecure sometimes. Sally definitely has doubts. Those are a part of her, too, and they make her human. The important thing is that despite those insecurities, despite those doubts, she doesn’t let that stop or change her.
Like it or not–like her or not–it’s okay, and here’s why:
Sally likes herself.
She is loyal to her friends, her family and her fandoms :). She’s a smart girl who loves books. And she will be herself no matter what. If you think about it, what “be yourself” really means is: Be brave.
As school starts back, I hope all the young adults out there (and the adults) can be brave. I hope I can be brave. I hope it’s one of the things people take away after reading ADORKABLE.
Be yourself. It’s one of the hardest and most important things you can do.