breaking free and being me

Accepting and embracing one’s self not only requires recognition of the constraints one is held down by, but also how to break free of them to properly care for one’s self and to become self-empowered. Conformation must be abolished. Conformation to what society expects, to externals, to unnecessary desires, fears, or even to an individual with a greater power can no longer be disregarded or over-looked. Thoreau even states, "How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity!" By no means can one properly care for themselves when they attempt to do so on another’s terms. In a way, a sort of selfishness is essential in order for an individual to personally succeed. In order to live life to the fullest extent, one must live simply and confidently, able to embrace each day along with its forthcomings. Through inspiration and interpretation of the words of multiple authors, strength, confidence and encouragement will arise guiding one towards becoming their best self. I found myself drawn towards pop-culture and mural/graffiti pieces of artwork in order to portray the ideas of Thoraeu, Epictetus, Lucretius, and Nietzsche. Even though the time periods of the writings and paintings significantly differ, I feel as though this only emphasizes that these ideas of self-help are still significant and relevant today. I found the few pieces of street art to specifically represent my idea of a unique and empowered self because of their intent and messages found behind them. These paintings are more than just their “illegal” stereotype, there is an idea and purpose of each one that intends to have a psychic and social consequence amongst all of society. They stand out, they are distinct and unique, and are the perfect representation of what an individual should strive for in becoming true to themselves. 

"We are at the mercy of whoever wields authority over the things we either desire or detest. If you want to be free, then do not wish to have, or avoid, things that other people control, because then you must serve as their slave." -Epictetus
"Thus we must put the shadowy terrors of the mind to flight..." -Lucretius In this dull mural, she hides away in fear as one may do in fear of death, for example. Fears will consume and control you if you are imprisoned in such a mindset.
"Faced with pain, you will discover the power of endurance." -Epictetus The strength one can find within themselves to succeed will often surprise them. Through any difficult situation, one can find strength and hope.
"To demand of strength that it should not express itself as strength, that it should not wish to overpower, a wish to conquer, a wish to become a master, a lust for enemies, resistance and triumphs, is just as absurd as to require of weakness that it should express itself as strength." -Nietzsche
In us there is a vital heat, according to Thoreau, in which grand necessity is based on. Maintain this vital heat by not acquiring an abundance of external heat as the rich do, for example, who are kept "unnaturally warm".
"...if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." -Thoreau
Within our hearts, we will find our true lusts and desires. Put your whole heart into what you do in life to obtain the most out it in return. "Truly it has been said: 'Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'-Matthew 6:21" -Nietzsche
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