5 lessons learned from Caitlyn Jenner and why you shouldn't care if it's a publicity stunt
This is an opinion piece by The Golden Girl.
NEVER WOULD I EVER HAVE IMAGINED MYSELF AS FEELING "UPLIFTED," "HOPEFUL," AND "EXCITED FOR THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY" UPON SEEING YET ANOTHER KARDASHIAN HEADLINER.
But yesterday was different.
Our parents will never forget seeing Bruce in the headlines decades ago (fun fact, my dad used to run track against him back in the day!) And our generation won't ever forget Caitlyn. Yesterday was one of those moments where we'll all look back when we're 80 and remember what we were doing the day we saw that Vanity Fair cover. Years from now, when they study 2015 in college history classes, I bet you there will be an essay question on it.
Photo Credit: Vanity Fair via The Golden Girl
Caitlyn could not have come into our lives at a better time. Current events (we won't get into those here) have made me sincerily question my faith in humanity. But seeing the American public's reaction and support for Caitlyn has gone a long way to restore it. There may be a happy future for us, after all.
However, there are always the negative skeptics. And I don't blame people for being skeptical. After all, we know every word of The Kardashians is scripted.
ISN'T THERE A CHANCE THAT KRIS STOPPED GIVING BRUCE AN ALLOWANCE, AND HE NEEDED TO DRUM UP SOME PUBLICITY FOR HIMSELF?
Was he afraid the public would forget about Bruce after he left The Kardashians?
Yes, there probably is. There totally is. We don't know Bruce or Caitlyn personally. Can anyone REALLY say they're 100% sure this whole journey isn't for money?
Honestly, I don't care. I couldn't care less, actually. That's besides the point.
Because what we've observed from Caitlyn over the past few weeks is a huge lesson that we can all learn from. Here are five things we can all take away from her journey, regardless of what you do or don't believe.
1) IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BECOME THE PERSON YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE.
This is something we all struggle with, and I'm seeing it more and more as I move into my late twenties. This struggle can be of monumental significance, or just a blip in the radar. We all have that one friend (or a few) who marries the guy that is wrong for her, simply because they've been dating for 10 years, and "it's too late to start over now." Or, your Mom, who you just watched struggle through a horrible divorce, who completely writes off the idea of dating again. "It's too hard to think about starting over," she says. Or your cousin, who has worked her way through the corporate ladder, secretly hating her life because a job she's not passionate about sucks away all of her time. "I can't possibly move now, after I've worked so hard to get where I am," she thinks.
Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.
No matter what point you're at in your life, it is never too late to start over. It's never too late to wake up one day and decide to become the person you've always wanted to be.
2) NEVER UNDERVALUE BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF
The human mind is a scary, complex thing. You can talk yourself in and out of just about anything. So why do we often try to talk ourselves out of what we honestly, truly feel? When your head starts spinning, and when your life starts to feel out of control, take a step back, and trust your gut. Can we ever truly be happy in life if we aren't being honest with what makes us truly happy? Jess Lively talks about this often, and I highly recommend checking her out!
3) JUST DO YOU. IT WILL ATTRACT THE RIGHT PEOPLE, AND REPEL THE WRONG ONES.
If you choose to be anyone other than yourself, sure, people might like you. You'll have friends. But they won't be the right ones.
The best way to find your truest, soulmate-type friendships? Just do you.
Yes, there will be haters. But you can never please everyone. Think of it like advertising. A TV commercial has a specific angle, a specific target audience, and runs on a specific channel for a reason. A commercial isn't designed to appeal to absolutely everyone. That's the point. It repels the people that it needs to, and attracts the ones that it does. By doing this, a brand has a much closer, richer relationship with its target audience than it would otherwise, because a certain group of people just click with it.
The same goes for your personality. Not everyone is going to like it. But the ones that do are going to enrich your life, and play a much more significant role than the friends who like "fake you".
4) NOTHING GOOD EVER CAME FROM COMFORT ZONES
Tony Robbins once said, "the quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with." I can't really think of truer words.
The fastest way to get from point A to point B (whatever those points may be) is a leap of faith. Granted, it should be a well-calculated, thought-out leap of faith, but I've learned that the best things in my life have not come from a comfort zone. This doesn't just apply to professional life, but personal life, too. Push yourself. Don't settle. Keep moving forward toward your goal, no matter how uncomfortable it might make you.
5) BE OPEN ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLES. IT WILL GO A LOT FURTHER THAN ONLY SHOWING YOUR "HIGHLIGHT REEL."
In the world of Instagram, Pinterest, and blogging, it's really hard to get caught up in how "perfect" you think someone's life is. In return, we all do our best to make it seem like our lives are all made up of "instagrammable moments," too. But the truth is, they aren't.
Instagram and Pinterest have to be pretty, because, well–that's why everyone loves them! Who doesn't love looking at pretty pictures all day? If I posted a photo of my disgusting dinner that accidentally got burnt to a crisp, causing emotional tears to ensue, in my boyfriend's ugly kitchen that hasn't been updated the 1990's (really, the countertops are hunter green formica), that wouldn't be inspiring to look at, would it?
But sometimes, despite what we see on social media, we do need to remind each other that it's okay to have struggles. Talk about them. Talk about the challenges that you're having, what keeps you up at night. Chances are, others are having these too. And by being open about them, it will help a lot of people in the process (including yourself)!
So when people tell me they think Caitlyn is a fake, I really don't give a flying you-know-what. If she is? That's totally fine. Because if it makes one less transgender kid attempt suicide, then it was worth it.
I don't care how much money she makes, the biggest lesson you should be taking away is that she made an huge issue that so many people struggle with normal. And I hope that's what you see, too.
Thank you, Caitlyn, for your amazing inspiration. I hope to be as brave of a woman as you are one day.
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