INSPIRATION

Be You Anyway

I struggled with what to call this blog post. The subject is so fundamental to who I am and what I do.

Most of the past year of my life has required me to Be Me Anyway. Anyway: as in, doing what I believe in regardless of hesitation. Regardless of my own self-doubt and regardless of what other people think or say– because it’ll always be something.

Sometimes, my articles are posted somewhere other than on this blog. When that happens, they rack up a handful of negative comments. I don’t respond because I don’t find it helpful. But in truth, I am really sensitive– it’s just my nature.

People are always going to have something to say about what you are doing. It can be because they are jealous, they think they know better, because they are threatened or because they are angry or upset with some part of their life. Maybe you stirred something up for them.

Not everyone is going to love everything you do. But staying lukewarm on a subject doesn’t make you better for this world or for anyone. Staying lukewarm is not a better option.

Your surroundings, your family, your professors, your friends, anyone who surrounds you does not always want you to Be You. The way we grow up informs the idea of what our lives “should” look like.

I never, ever thought my life would look the way it does right now. My life now doesn’t fit into the categories I thought “should” be possible for me. I remember thinking in high school that it would be incredible to be a National Geographic photographer, but that it was too high of a goal. Now I know a handful of people who do exactly that for work, and I realize that my doubts were within my control.

Live for you, and never for the people who want to sit on their asses and call you lucky. You don’t get anywhere in life on luck alone.

If you are a writer, write for you. If you make art, make art for you. Create for you. Do for you. Make for you.

It’s a fact that you are going to get hate from someone at some point no matter what you doespecially if you are pursuing your life with passion. The options are: keep going, and accept that there will always be those people, or stop and be quiet. The second one is not an option for me, and I hope it isn’t one for you either.

Your voice is yours and uniquely yours– fading it or trying to fix it for someone else will never be true to you.

If you do something long enough, if you do it well enough, and if you are consistent enough, someone will notice. You probably won’t get exactly where you thought you would. But when we commit to ourselves, whatever it is we are seeking and whatever it is we once sought– often it starts to look for us, too.

 


 

Photos in this post by Garrett King.

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan
    May 26, 2016 at 11:00 am

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. Seriously, thank you.

    It can be really f-ing hard sometimes, but you’re right: stopping & being quiet is not an option for me, either.

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      May 26, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you Megan!! I am right there with you sister. If you ever need a boost, just let me know. I am always impressed by what you put out into the world!! xo

  • Reply
    Diana
    May 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Just what I needed to read today. You are an inspiration. <3

  • Reply
    Lily
    May 26, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Exactly what I needed for post-grad life. Thanks Erin!!!

  • Reply
    Amy
    May 26, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    This is such an inspiring post. Thank you for your beautifully written words :)

  • Reply
    Gabby
    May 26, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I needed this today, too! <3

  • Reply
    Indy
    May 26, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I feel like for everyone who is negative there are a handful (if not more) people who are inspired and impressed by what you do, even if they don’t say so. At least this seems like what I tend to find in my life.

    Keep doing you, girl. You’re amazing.

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      May 26, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      So true! For me it only takes one person saying they are inspired to make it worth it. If one person reads it, if one person is moved, that’s why I do it and that’s why I always will. Thank you for the love!! xo

  • Reply
    Betsy
    May 27, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you so much for this! Its easy to let fear of what other people think stop us from expressing ourselves. You are never going to make everyone happy and some people are just big ol’ sticks in the mud! Its much better to focus on being your wonderful self and keep doing what make your heart sing.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    May 27, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Hi, Erin!

    I’m still learning this lesson…and I’m sensitive, too! I hope all this positive feedback from others is helpful to you. I know I love being reminded that there are a ton of wanderlusted hearts out there. :)

    Amanda

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      May 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Always amazing to get a reminder :) Thanks Amanda

  • Reply
    William
    May 27, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    So much heartfelt awesomeness in this, thank you!
    I love this line “If you are a writer, write for you. If you make art, make art for you. Create for you. Do for you. Make for you.”

    I might just make a little sign and inscribe it.

  • Reply
    Lesley
    May 28, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I love this! I am quite a bit older than you, in fact, near retirement! But it has taken me SO LONG to find my own way. To realise that you have to do what you love, and do it with passion. I love the fact you have found this out at a much younger age than me, it means you can live your real life, not one of constantly stifling what your real feelings are to please someone else. I intend to start living my real life now and never stop!

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      May 30, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Thank you so much, Lesley! So nice to hear that it resonated with you. xo

  • Reply
    Matthew Usherwood
    May 29, 2016 at 2:46 am

    Thanks for the great post. I more or less read this as be authentic, be yourself and don’t worry about those who doubt you or raise an eyebrow as you don’t fit into the norm. Exactly where I am at now.

  • Reply
    Roxanne
    May 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Ohhhh thank you again so much for what you write. This helps a lot during a time of self doubt and career questioning. Please never stop being you. xx

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      May 30, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks so much, Roxanne! So glad to hear that.

  • Reply
    Kerissa
    June 5, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Word sista!

  • Reply
    Jodi
    June 8, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I just found your blog, Erin. I’ve got a big darn smile on my face. I came across you on instagram and was captured by your thoughtful words and post. I needed more. Coming here this morning has been inspiring to say the least – and I’ve only read one post! Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s a beautiful things! x

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      June 16, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Thank you so much Jodi! Really means a lot to hear that. xo

  • Reply
    alyssa
    June 9, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    I loved this. Especially the part about luck. It drives me nuts when people tell me that I am so lucky to be doing what I am doing…I am not lucky in the slightest. I worked my ass off to be where I am and I am still working. Keep doing you!!

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      June 16, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Totally hear you there. It’s hard for me to validate when folks tell me I am lucky. I’m lucky because of the body I was born into, which has many implications, but the rest has been choice. xo

  • Reply
    Dan
    June 14, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Well said Erin, very inspirational.

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 2, 2016 at 1:34 am

    This is a really great post! glad I found you.

  • Reply
    Simone
    August 18, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Thank you for writing this (and perfect title). I think there are a lot of us out there searching for a way to create our lives rather than fit ourselves in someone else’s idea of what that looks like. I just discovered you on instagram today and I’m loving everything you’ve shared so far. Thank you for not being quiet about who you are!

    • Erin Sullivan
      Reply
      Erin Sullivan
      August 18, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Thank you Simone! It can be hard to create ourselves in a world that wants us to be something specific, but that’s what life is about. Happy you are here!

  • Reply
    Ulla
    November 26, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    You’re an inspiration, love your thoughts! Ulla

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