Screw Changing Yourself

Photo: Courtesy of the author
photo of author

I have tried to change how I look since my ballet teacher kicked me out of class because I was too fat.

I have tried to change how much I can produce when in Business School and tried the play hard and party hard lifestyle, just to end up on probation and almost kicked out.

I have fallen on my face, trying to change myself when I was in a relationship, so I could stop coming across as too emotional.

I have promised to change myself to my mother, my neighbor, and the boss I never respected.

I have written about ways to change myself every New Year's resolution.

I have even bought online and offline programs that will help me change myself into a morning person, a runner, a chill-ass girlfriend every man and woman wants to marry, an on-time professional, you name it.

I have read your stupid lists on what to change to be happier, more productive, more successful, more like this medium imaginary hero that does not exist.

Guess what? I did not change.

Maybe I did change for a day or a week.

But over the long term, what really happened is that I grew more frustrated with myself, with life, with humans, and even with dogs and cats.

I became angry, bitter, sour.

Here is the deal.


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Instead, I began becoming more myself.

I began shedding all the layers of crap that I have accumulated through my 30 years that are NOT mine.

I began melting all the walls of expectations that I have constructed because I thought I was not perfect for you teacher, boss, investor, mister.

I finally embraced the artist in me that has been yelling for attention.

The wild woman that wants to speak her truth no matter what they say.

The human that wants to cry about life’s miseries and fall in love with life’s secrets and treasures.

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I accepted that I will not run marathons, or have a zero-argument relationship, that I will not have my shit together 50% of the time.

I let go of the need to be successful on paper, have a family and kids by a certain age, fit in America where I live, or Lebanon where I come from.

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I started working out 5 days a week, I even ran TWO legitimate miles (with hills and everything).

I started saying no more, which meant, no more overbooking myself and instead, showing up on time.

I wrote like there is no tomorrow. I wrote poetry every day. Because I stopped working my ass off to be on a page of some stupid magazine that no one reads beyond its title. My poetry and writing got published, only when I stopped caring if I would.

I am doing all the things that I said I wanted to do when I meet that life partner, ALONE. Because it does not matter.

(PS: where the hell are you life partner?)


You have so much potential within you. SO many gifts, it will blow your mind.

SO stop landfilling your soul. Stop overcrowding your genius.

Get naked with yourself. Look at your nakedness in the mirror.

This is it.

Be naked. Live naked. Thrive naked. Fly naked.

We all love you more when you are naked.

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Jessica Semaan is a Lebanese poet and the founder of The Passion Co. Follow her on Twitter @jessemaan.

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This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.