Don’t you just hate it when people tell you what to do?
Since being born, I was thrust into a world of poverty, hunger and total dictatorship. We were all raised to follow. We had always been taught that disobeying the capital in any way was the gravest of all sins. But I was never a believer in the system.
Because I was always a believer in staying true to myself.
I didn’t realize this was what I had been doing all along. Take for example this whole Hunger Games experience. From the moment my sister Prim was drawn from the reaping, I have always acted on instinct and on principle. Even with Haymitch and Effie annoying me with all their game plan, I’ve always ended up trusting and following myself. As you can see, it’s done me good. I survived two times as a contestant in the Hunger Games arena and I survived the battle against the President and the Capital.
Throughout this journey, people were always telling me how to act, what to wear, what to say. I listen, but then do what I want anyway. I just don’t see the concept of compromising who I am just to please others. Granted, I faked my thing with Peeta in the arena and after we were out of it, but come on, I had no idea that I was developing real feelings for him. When you track everything back, even when people started calling me their savior, the face of the rebellion, the Girl On Fire, I always saw myself as just “Katniss”.
My story is pretty much a testament to why it’s important to stay true to yourself.
So many people nowadays are like the people in the Capital— always blindly following the herd, afraid to stand out because they don’t want to be labelled ‘different’, always careful to not anger/offend/displease others. But what good does that do to you?
I’ll tell you what. Nothing.
Be like those people in the Capital and you will never amount to your full potential. How do you live a life that is constantly based on other people’s thoughts, opinions and feelings? Constantly thinking and living life with others in mind is like living in a Hunger Games arena. You’re constantly on high alert, hoping not to do anything that might get you killed.
And then there’s me. I HATE bringing attention to myself, but it’s quite ironic how I never thought that I was anything special. And yet I became the face and inspiration of the rebellion that finally brought down the tyrant that held all of us captive.
To be quite honest, I didn’t have an aspiration in mind. I was always just me. And in not being afraid to be myself, I had accidentally created a “me” that became an inspiration to others, and I had made my life (and *cringe* everyone else’s) better.
So next time you find yourself walking on eggshells with the fear of displeasing others, JUST STOP. Live your life as yourself, because you don’t have enough time to be two people. You can either be the version of you that you want to be, or the version of you that others want you to be.
The question is… which version will you allow to live?
Let the Hunger Games begin…. (for the two possible versions of you)
Burning with shame over my Girl on Fire title,