Should You Dare to Be Yourself?


be you very wellFor a good year or so of my life, I wanted to be Gretchen Rubin, the bestselling author of The Happiness Project. I had coffee with her a few months before our books came out (both were published the first week of January, 2010). Hers became an instant New York Times bestseller. She appeared on Today and the rest of the morning shows and was in demand as a keynote speaker at prestigious conferences around the country. Mine, well, didn’t make the bestsellers list and getting press was rather challenging on a bleak topic.

I wanted to be Gretchen for all the obvious reasons. A graduate of Yale and Yale Law School, she is incredibly bright and ambitious. A social media genius, she has mastered the blog platform. But there was more. I wanted to swap her message—no, her everything–for mine because I was sick of being Ms. Embrace-the-Darkness, the girl to know if you want to slit your wrist. Instead I wanted to be Susie Sunshine, your guide to happily ever after. Because that’s what the world wants, not Debbie Downer.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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6 Responses
  1. So very true…so important to be honest with yourself and others. If you are not honest with yourself, you will not grow, and if you are not honest with others, you will miss an opportunity to touch hearts:-)


    Therese, I rarely comment about what you’ve written in recent days. My time is divided among a dozen lovely or lazy pursuits. But today, I had to stop and drop and give you twenty good pushups! Being ourselves is our only option. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” And, to me, that means being ourselves come heck or high water. I’ve taken to using this expression of late. “You have to push back.” The truth is there are a thousand of the raving horde at every door who want us to do as they say or say as they say and I’m not buying into that happy nonsense. I may push back a little bit too hard and then have to extend a hand to someone I’ve pushed onto his/her ample backside. But I’d rather mend fences than not being in charge of the only railroad my train runs on. OK, I’m sure I’ve mixed an even dozen metaphors – but I had a chance to be myself! All the best to you – great post, T. Great one! Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:32:25 +0000 To:

  3. Give me Debbie Downer any day! I love her as she’s authentic and very very funny. As you know I didn’t last very long in your fb group because I found it more than a little toxic. But that’s me and I moved on. If someone wants to wallow like a hippo in mud and intermittently freak people out, go for it, but I won’t join in thanks anyway.

  4. Peer pressure can do crazy things to our minds and psyche, Therese. I think this is more so in the online world in blogging and social media, and that just about covers everything. The competition is pure madness. One has to feel empathy because who wouldn’t want to be that shiny successful person? But the truth is, we will never be happy unless we accept ourselves and our special purpose, our uniqueness. Good ole comparison IS the thief of joy. Fabulous post. May I give you a hug? I’ve added the link to your post in my blog post today.