Time to celebrate being you

Time to celebrate being you

I have been a Top Gear ‘whatever’ critic for many years.

This means the cars I have owned been practical and uneventful, and range from a Triumph Toledo – that was built like a tank which enabled me to slide on ice and crash through a Castle wall – to the most boring Peugeot 405 (in light blue without even a spoiler) that even my wife was reluctant to be seen in!

I never had any torque tools, and I have lost count of the number of times I have seen canvas where the rubber of my tyres was supposed to be.

However, I have now found a car that is uniquely me – a bright orange Renegade Jeep.

I am so made up. It reflects the quirky taste in socks and shirts, and is the perfect vehicle for my job, which allows me to wear jeans and shirts that compete with Steve Legg’s own wardrobe collection of Hawaiian Shirts (Steve is the founding editor of Sorted).

I was not always like this in life. Not so long ago, I conformed to expectations, dining on the seven pillars of culture and spheres of society, namely: religion, family, education, government, media, arts and business.

This led me to believe children should not speak until they are spoken to; a belief that wearing the right suit and tie at work was the right thing to do; having a four-bedroom house with two bathrooms was all-important; I needed to be part of a two-car family and being target-orientated and having a win-at-all-cost approach to life would set me apart from the pack.

How wrong I was.

Adapt and enjoy

What I since discovered is I am preciously unique; I am the ‘diamond geezer’ I am meant to be; I am unique (that’s for sure); I have gifts, talents and passions (including supporting Everton FC); and I have my own personal style of engaging with life!

I have had to learn, adapt and enjoy being untypical. This has meant learning how to accept and love the differences that make me unique. In doing so, I am continuously learning to stop myself comparing, competing, judging, worrying, blaming, having regrets and being angry with the world. And, along the way, I am also content to have a good old laugh about hanging onto to one, or all the above.

In the Bible, in the Book of Psalms, it says: “I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvellously breath-taking. It simply amazes me to think about it!”

So how did I change the landscape of my life?

The truth is I was drifting through life, living an existence conceptualised by everybody else – not me. I had to stop and be proactive in making choices for myself, taking seriously the evidence in my life of what made me tick, the skills I had acquired and the good intentional influences on my life.

For me, faith was central to helping me identifying what I did best; what satisfies me; and what gives me fulfilment in being uniquely me. 

And while this is great news for me, it is also good news for you. For as Dr Seuss says: “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive than is ‘youer’ than you.”

My encouragement to you is live your life as truly and fulsomely as you can. And, if you are a bit different from your mates, then that is something to celebrate.

  • Gwyn Williams is the International Operations Director of Feed the Hungry, an international charity committed to alleviating food poverty and food hunger. He also regularly attends a church in Hinckley, Leicestershire.