For years, the author suppressed her own dreams and identity for the sake of fitting in — climbing up the ladder in a career for the sake of status and money, trying to find a husband to settle down with, despite the fact that she was gay. And as she got older, she felt the opposite pressure: She tried to stand out, to distinguish herself from the rest of society. But then she took a step back, and thought more about what her original values and identity were. This, she decided, was what she wanted to project to the world — and she thinks that is the best attitude to have.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jess at first in her life denied her true identity and values to try to fit in — working for a successful, typical career and marriage.
  • When she realized this wasn’t for her, she spent a long time trying to “stand out” from the crowd, but still sacrificing her authenticity to do so.
  • Jess realized that the most important way to live is authentically — regardless of whether you fit in or not.

“I wanted to be me and find others who were themselves, but I also needed to find out who that ?me? was.”

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