Thursday, February 2, 2017

you don't have to be...

If there's one thing I've learned in my relatively short life (though I'm eager to stay here for decades) is that here in this great, wild world is that you don't have to be anyone or anything, despite the stigmas and the way people perceive you for your looks, background, or hobbies and passions.

you don't have to be...

you don't have to have charisma or stage presence to make yourself heard.
guess what? motivational speakers stumble, too. yes, delivery counts, but it's the content of your voice that carries itself into the listeners' ears, and sticks in their minds.

you don't have to be stick thin to be a model or be seen as 'beautiful'.
you can be big-boned, tall, and have a perfectly round face and still be beautiful. isn't what really counts inside you, not outside?

you don't have to be fit to be an athlete.
athletes that i personally know don't sport abs or toned arms and calves and muscles. they're swimmers, softball and basketball players, even volleyball players, but they still pack a punch when they're in the court.

you don't have to be a goody two-shoes to be 'good'. 
the word 'good' is too subjective. being obedient, following the rules, and respecting others can make you good, but if there's nothing beyond that, how can you be truly 'good'? to me, being good is extending the limits of help and responsibility. helping those put last, those still lost in their lives, and those seen with no worth.

you don't have to be traumatized or gone through an emotional, or romantic experience to have your heart broken.
words and actions, whether they're romantic or threatening or used against you or not, can hurt, too.

you don't have to be part of a minority to stand up for them.
it doesn't matter at all. the cause you're fighting for unites you, and the difference of your race or age or gender or religion shouldn't divide you.

you don't have to be a genius to be smart.
'smart' is another subjective word to me. whether or not your IQ soars heights, you can still have your wits about you and bring your common sense, opinions, and insight to important situations.

you don't have to be shy or quiet to be an artist.
so, so many amazing writers and photographers and painters and musicians are loud, flamboyant, and yes, extroverts. it's true.

you don't need to have money or connections to change the world.
aren't the most uplifting, inspirational stories the ones of people who came from nowhere, and built their own path to become someone?

you don't have to be successful to inspire people.
i'd rather have touched someone and given them hope to keep up the fight than be written in a history book and reviled. success, especially through treason and corruption and lies, does not equal how many people you inspire. 

you don't have to be anything, or live up to anyone's crushing, mind-numbing expectations, but your own.
and even then, don't be too hard on yourself. there's a thing called being human, and allow yourself to make mistakes along the way. 

you don't have to be anyone, but be real, be honest, be candid.
live your life to the fullest. that's what you need to be.

can you think of any 'you don't have to be...'s to complete?

And I guess I haven't introduced myself yet -- hi, I'm Andrea, a new writer for the Burning Youth blog. It's great to be a part of it, and I can't wait to share this journey through my writing with all of you :) 


  1. I LOVE this! it should be more obvious than it is, but for some reason we all have a hard time really believing this. Thanks for writing it out so beautifully and sharing it here :) I look forward to seeing more of your posts! xx Nina

    1. Thank you Nina! Exactly; the pressure of stigmas and stereotypes always seem to bring us down at one point or another, and I'm glad this post is a sort of reminder. <3

  2. Yes yes yes yes yes yes!
    keep speaking truth girl!!!

    1. Thanks Elissa! I'm glad you liked the post :D

  3. This is such an encouragement, Andrea!

    1. I'm happy you enjoyed reading this! <3

  4. This post is so freeing and packed chock full of truth!

    1. Thank you, Madeline! I'm glad that my writing reached out to you :)

  5. Welcome, Andrea!! I love this so much!! We don't have to "be" anything, but ourselves!

    1. Thank you for the welcome Ashlyn <3 And yes that is the truth!

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Katie <3 It means a lot to me!

  7. Welcome Andrea!

    I love this post! I related to so many of these! We are in the world but not of it. We have a different standard, a holier one, and one less concerned with our jean size or IQ than our soul.

    Other "you don't have to be.."s I could think of include...

    "You don't have to be popular to be loved and valued."


    "You don't have to be a Pastor or expert on all things Biblical to know Jesus."

    1. Ahhh I love your examples Hannah! Thank you for sharing them.