Hi Darryl, I really enjoyed your story, thanks for sharing. You’re right: being yourself is so important, for people of all ages — if you’re not being you nobody else is going to do it for you!
I think it comes down to acceptance — if you can accept yourself for who you are you’re likely to be happier and more secure, then in turn you’re more likely to be open and accepting of others.
Young people also face very intense peer pressure, with everyone saying these are the best years of your life and the feeling you should be having fun all the time (FOMO).
I agree with you, there’s a whole world waiting for anyone brave enough to be themselves and be open to others, it’s never too soon and it’s never too late.