‘Escape to where you can be yourself’

How & why you should be yourself, according to Frank Ocean’s mother …

Many college students have gone to college
And gotten hooked on drugs, marijuana, and alcohol
Listen, stop trying to be somebody else
Don’t try to be someone else
Be yourself and know that that’s good enough
Don’t try to be someone else
Don’t try to be like someone else
Don’t try to act like someone else, be yourself
Be secure with yourself
Rely and trust upon your own decisions
On your own beliefs
You understand the things that I’ve taught you
Not to drink alcohol, not to use drugs
Don’t use that cocaine or marijuana because that stuff is highly addictive
When people become weed-heads they become sluggish, lazy, stupid and unconcerned
Sluggish, lazy, stupid and unconcerned
That’s all marijuana does to you, okay? This is mom
Unless you’re taking it under doctor’s control
Then it’s regulated
Do not smoke marijuana, do not consume alcohol
Do not get in the car with someone who is inebriated
This is mom, call me, bye

(Frank Ocean — Be Yourself)

For me, life appears to be a compilation of strange goings on. Intertwined in a shimmering shell of curiosity & exploration, the powers of negativity and fear often overwhelm ideals of progression. There are a million ways to interpret it all. With inundated resolution & a desire for adventure, maybe these anxieties can be quashed. If you can remain true to yourself, then, perhaps, a path towards happiness will arise from the mist. Maybe my emotions can get the better of me at times. But I’d much rather that, than to straddle fences in the hope of safety. I tend to overlook the advice against alcohol in the above, but the message remains true. Be yourself and know that that is good enough.

Research assistant at Queen's University Belfast

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