Be You And Don’t Be Afraid Of Change

If I have learned anything over the past 23 years of living it is to be yourself. Sure, we can pretend to be someone else and that may be fun. The amount of joy that brings to a person is limited and false however. I remember growing up always wanting to be just like my older brother. For instance, my brother, who is 7 years older than I, had a completely different style than than I do now. However, back in the day you could see us both rocking some Ecko brand clothing, baggy jeans, and a Jersey Shore type hair cut. All of these things were never truly MY thing. But I went with it. I felt it was safe to bet on my brother’s opinions and so I followed suit in what most younger siblings do and I played copy cat.

I recall the first time I decided to part from my copy cat lifestyle and chose to go my own direction. For about a year I had copied that same hairstyle my brother was rocking until one day I decided to get it cut differently. To my barber’s surprise, I had chose to go with a cut that would allow me to grow my hair out. Something as simple as this was such a liberating moment. I wanted to stay myself apart from my brother and begin to be me. I enjoyed an abundance of hair on the top of my head until after graduating high school. However, style wasn’t the end of my pursuit of individuality.

Unlike a lot of guys, instead of falling into liking the same stereotypical masculine and manly things I too have a sensitive side. And I have embraced that side. Not to sound like I’m filling out a dating website bio, but I like things not many guys may not care to admit. These things include:

  • Flowers (There’s something about them man)
  • Netflix and… my babe and pup (Chilling and spending time with my girl and dog really make me the happiest.)
  • Singing (One of my biggest passions in life)
  • Shopping (Much to my girlfriend’s annoyance at times, I’m more so the one who is a “shopaholic.”
  • Rom-coms, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, Riverdale etc. (This could go with the Netflix part as I enjoy cuddling up with my girls Kirsten & Lucy and watching loads and loads of these “chick-flick” like shows.

So much has changed throughout the course of my life and have led me to change not only my appearance but my attitude as well. I’m still coming in my own as far as independence but due to situations in my life I’ve learned to become more in tune with relying on myself. Along with that I’ve learned to adjust to things differently than I used to. Adversity is no ones friend but it can be taken on with the right approach and mindset.

Today, I continue to develop into my own person. Recently, I got my nose pierced which is something completely different from anyone in my family. It’s certainly nothing any of them would probably do. I also intend to some day have both arms covered in tattoo sleeves.. Not to be the “bad boy” but because it looks artsy as.. Well you get the point.

Someday I hope to fulfill my life and take my passion for creative arts to a workforce of my desire. I hope to do things the way I want to and always do them responsibly. Above all, I just want to be myself.

Joél Cruz

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