This week I read an epic interview with one of my heroes, Bill Murray. No, he and I did not read the interview together, the interview was about him, smartass.
In the interview, Bill Murray outlines specifically what it takes to be Bill Murray. It was really quite wonderful. I highly suggest you read it.
At the end of the interview, he gives this bit of advice: Remember that you are you and that nobody else is.
"So you’re the only one that’s you, and we get confused sometimes—or I do, I think everyone does—you try to compete. You think, Dammit, someone else is trying to be me. Someone else is trying to be me. But I don’t have to armor myself against those people; I don’t have to armor myself against that idea if I can really just relax and feel content in this way and this regard."
At the end he states:
"So what’s it like to be me? You can ask yourself, What’s it like to be me? You know, the only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if you work your best at being you as often as you can, and keep reminding yourself: That’s where home is."
Fucking Bill Murray. Eloquent as fuck and still my hero after all of these years.
I have read this sentiment before in different forms and phrases, that I am home when I am acting with integrity, when I am expressing myself without shame, guilt or fear. I am most myself when I am not worried about what other people are doing, thinking or feeling about my actions.
When I can be myself without the self-consciousness that is brought on by self-doubt, I am in love, and I need little else.
I can also rely on life testing me. Life is always coming up with opportunities for me to choose between standing for myself or caving. Life presents event after event where I must choose me, or, not me. For a long time, I never chose me. I was depressed, angry, and I didn't know myself. But after years of this, I got fed up and started slowly but surely to choose me. It was incredibly painful and terrifying during these initial events, but after the dust had settled and I was left standing, the rush of release and joy overwhelmed me.
It is no easy feat to be me. Just as I know it is no easy feat to be you. We are all caught in a world that seems to push us to be otherwise, and that is why, when others appear to be imitating me, I get a bit anxious. I feel a bit claustrophobic. But then I remember, it has taken 44 long years of work to come to stand in these shoes, to sit on this chair, to lie in this bed. Ain't nobody gonna take all that from me in a week, in a month, or even a year.
I am the only valuable possession I own, and the only way to lose that is to give it away. There is no way someone can steal it from me without my permission, and that in itself brings me comfort and reminds me to choose wisely every time I have the opportunity.
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you have the opportunity to be you, go ahead and do that. Be the you-iest you that you can be. There is no greater comfort, no greater pleasure than feeling the skin that surrounds you, the bones that support you, the laugh that bubbles within you.
Be unapologetic. Be bold. Be you.
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