Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Real Me, the Real You

Every few months or so I receive a similar message from a fan of the opinion that I'm not being me.  In general these messages explain that when I wear costumes and make-up, dye my hair, and sing about dark things, that I'm not really being my true self.  Their argument is that I'm too good looking naturally to be playing dress-up, that if I was to tone down who I was I'd be happier and have more fans and be more popular.  In other words if I stopped being Sir JET and was simply Joel, the fitness model, my life would be so much better.  Basically what these people are trying to say is that if I was to stop being different and made an effort to be more like everyone else, I'd be happier.

I understand what they're saying, I understand that people fear things that are different and feel safer when the outlandish can be identified under a category of normalcy, but simultaneously, I know their opinions could not be further from the truth.  For the truth is, I did make an effort to be normal, for many years.  For many years I kept my hair the same color, spent thousands of dollars on head shots, mailing submissions into magazines and agencies, received a gig here and there, but in the end I had nothing. I even at one point spent several hundred dollars on speech lessons in an attempt to sound more masculine when I spoke, because an agent told me my soft-spoken voice and mannerisms didn't match my chiseled face and body.  In all though I wasn't happy, because I wanted to wear fun clothes, because I wanted to see what it would be like to change my hair color, because I couldn't stand trying to maintain the same look day in and day out.

My whole transformation into the real me was the basis for the book I wrote.  My book was about how to overcome depression by finding ways to live your life that make you happy, and for me that was becoming Sir JET.  (Obviously these people who send me these messages never read it). As a gender nonconformist, nothing makes me feel better than putting on a new pair of heels, and just in general trying on clothes that are a challenge, things that as a child I was constantly told I couldn't wear because I was a boy.

In truth I do know what these people are talking about.  I see the Facebook pages of these bodybuilders, porn stars, and fitness models and yes, they do have a good amount of more likes than my page, but at the same time I know in my heart how miserable and bored I was trying to be like them, and I think it's just a matter of time before the right people find me; I do feel Sir JET has a place in mainstream society, it's just taking longer than expected.

Until then I offer this message to you: only you know the version of you that will make you happy.  Only you know if the way you are living your life feels right, and if someone offers their opinion to you saying otherwise, it's because they fear what is different and are hoping to bring you back to some level of normality, not for your sake but rather for theirs.  It doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things if you are particularly normal or particularly different, what matters is that the way you are feels right.  Always go with the feeling, feelings are the true gateway to your happiness.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said. And I couln't agree more. Anthony Rapp said, "there will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself."

    Popularity is a hollow trophy; just look at all the popular people who maintained facades that belied a tormented, sad mind that sometimes led to suicide.

    As long as you're becoming or being mentally/physically healthy and sober, be happy and live your truth! The people who resonate with your true self expression and believe in you are the only people that matter, anyway.

    Your willingness to be open demonstrates the true power and courage that comes from (confident +healthy) vulnerability. Thank you for being an inspiration, a hero, and for encouraging others (like me)!