About Me: My name is Michaelene Toussaint, a fellow UNB student based in Trinidad and Tobago. I have been given the opportunity of having my own column in the Brunswickan—all thanks to editor-in-chief, Emma McPhee. To tell you about myself, I’d say I am simply a person trying to make the world a better place. As an aspiring motivational speaker, I strive to help people understand and survive life with a different perspective, thinking about it and ultimately moving towards it. As such, my column, “Michaelene Motivation,” will be geared towards the aforementioned. I would love for it to be an interactive one, so feel free to leave comments, feedback, suggestions and queries— you can address any issue! You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s Message: Being a Friend vs. Being Yourself
After my first article launched, I found myself engaging in a conversation with a girl about not having friends—nor anyone that likes her. Mind you, the conversation started after I stumbled upon videos of hers where she was apologizing for the smallest things: talking too much, doing this or that, not doing what anyone wanted… and the list went on and on. See, the reason I grasped this issue is because I know there are many of you out there like that—especially at university. I looked at the video and I honestly said to myself, “Honey, you might as well apologize for being alive.”
My point is, never try to be a friend instead of yourself. What I mean by that is if your (so-called) friends want you to do things you are not comfortable doing (and you do it anyway), then you are a friend that is obviously loyal/faithful to the friendship. But ask yourself this: “What do I want?” Have you lost something by being their gain? Do you do what they want you to do, because you want it, or because they want it? Most importantly, are you happy?
See, out of the many things that’s wrong with this world, individuality is a major issue. A lot of times, we sacrifice ourselves to become someone else. What does that make you? Are you an original, or are you just a copy or a fake? As human beings, we do not realize our true potential—so we depend on others for validation. Unfortunately, that does nothing but make you weak. You see, once these so-called friends realize that they have power over you, you might as well be a robot—they can now control you. To you , you’re just being a friend—but to them the bond is not friendship; it’s bondage. And that kind of person is not your friend.
My advice today is to step out of your comfort zone because you want to, not because anyone wants you to or is making you. No one can take away your individuality.