By Anna Kakuba

Disclaimer: I wouldn’t encourage any self respecting individual to use the words “Boo Boo”.

Moving on swiftly….

I was a timid child. I always needed other kids to think for me. It was easier being far from the spotlight. I think that for most of my childhood, my mother spent her best years drilling in my head the importance of being myself and doing things that make me happy. Back then, my friends could have jumped into a pit and I would feel more than obliged to do the same. I was the poster child for “hopping onto the bandwagon”. It wasn’t until I was sent off to university as a young adult that I finally understood what that was all about. That’s when I knew it was quite idiotic of me to want to jump in that pit.

I admire little girls (and boys) that say “no” when they want to.  I’d encourage parents to try and nurture this trait in their children when they still can. I say this because I see so many unhappy people; they have the biggest smiles on their faces but the emptiest of souls. Why? Because nothing they really do is for them. They spend hours trying to make themselves beautiful for someone else, dressing up to look amazing for someone else, stuck in relationships to please the other party, in a job they hate because society doesn’t want to hear much about the girl that makes mats down the street. The list goes on.

I am extremely grateful that no amount of guilt tripping will make me do things for other people that only leave me drained and depressed. There’s nothing worse than getting to your last day on this beautiful earth with nothing but regret. Do not allow that to happen to you. Your time here is limited and the worst part is we do not know when that last day will be. The least you could do for yourself is put your happiness first. If this paragraph wasn’t enough motivation for you to do you then maybe Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford will bring the message home.

And it’s not just people who drain you or make you feel inadequate. Media portrayals of perfection have a large part to play, making us feel like our lips aren’t full enough, or that our backsides are undesirable because they aren’t the size of China, or that we haven’t lived if we aren’t in Ibiza. The pressure!!! Good Lord.

Anyway, let’s not dwell on this. Live your best life, good people. Thank you.