IN A FEW WORDS: I was once asked to change entirely. It took me a while to understand it was actually a compliment. I hope this post will give you the courage to be yourself.
There were four of us in the class, which was taking place at a prestigious drama school in London. The course director was discussing our performance, working on different assignments – mine was a film project. He looked over at me and said: ‘Darius, you should lose some of that… European mystique. You know, you should be a bit more Anglosaxon.’ I nodded.
Drama schools are peculiar places where people are moulded and shaped. Well, I was not going to have any of that. It took me some time to digest this rather ridiculous personality development advice. Apparently, the fact that I was one of very few non-British students at the school hadn’t gone unnoticed and my refusal to blend in, either artistically or socially, wasn’t appreciated.
That afternoon, I remember taking a walk in a cemetery near to the academy – an oasis of silence in an area otherwise by surrounded by highways. I was losing my passion for creating, but, nonetheless, it suddenly became clear to me that my course director had just paid me a compliment.
I was being myself. If you are like everybody else, it doesn’t bother anyone. But, once you start connecting with your authentic truth, that is when trouble arises. Some people are uncomfortable with your ‘realness’ and the sincere relationship you have with yourself.
At the time, I wasn’t able to phrase it quite so eloquently to myself, I just felt that I was getting something right (although my life was pretty miserable). Now, I call it living life on my own terms.
It is those moments, days or months when I succeed at not giving a f**k about what others think and when I find the courage to go through life as myself, knowing that that is enough.