The Best Version of Yourself

Inspirational quotes posted to Facebook, greeting cards with fluffy words of encouragement, advice from other people – you hear it all the time: “Be the best version of yourself!” Blah, blah, blah. It sounds nice and all, but what does that actually mean?

Over the years, I’ve presented various versions of myself – many of them “pretty good” but a lot of them not pretty at all. I muddled through my days, hoping to make changes to be a happier person, but not really doing anything significant to make progress in that direction. In recent years, I’ve discovered clarity and higher self-esteem through fitness and better communication. I genuinely understand that the best version of myself is often kind, and consistently happy. It’s being physically and emotionally fit, as well as drama-free. It’s choosing to give, to love, or to be authentic in response to easy and uneasy situations in life. When I make choices that push me in a negative direction, I can’t possibly present “the best version” of myself. When I go about my day in a mindful, positive and organized manner, I usually follow through with all the things I want to do in order to show the world who I am, feel peaceful inside, and go to bed happy.

The other day I was in line at a thrift store. I had a cart full of awesome stuff (a.k.a. stuff I don’t need), and there was an odd, older woman behind me. She seemed a bit “off” and you know what I’m talking about – baffling choice of attire, messy hair, too much makeup, and a strange little shuffle. The snarky, judgmental side of me would have referred to her as “crazy eyes” like the character from the TV series, Orange is the New Black.

She was trying to talk to me and she made several comments about the stuff in my basket, the fact that it was raining, my jacket, and how she bakes bread in the morning. Seriously, in a matter of minutes, her comments ran through a broad spectrum of completely unrelated topics. My reaction a few years ago may have been to roll my eyes, and possibly even ignore her. I may have murmured something to be polite in response but that would have been it. Instead, I decided right then and there to turn toward her to engage in conversation.

Her whole face lit up as she proceeded to tell me about her children, her grandchildren, and what a total “witch” her sons’ wife is – like a real witch I guess. She covered pretty much every topic she could think of in a span of ten minutes. I realized, in the moment, that she what she needed was someone to simply listen. I wouldn’t have recognized this years ago when I was actively wrestling my demons, and serving myself only. I knew and felt, in a profound and conscious way, that I was being the best version of myself in that moment.

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About The Author

Kimberly Valzania
Kimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She is creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinion on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. As words tumble out, they are sorted into cohesive piles and delivered via poetry and short essays. She knows that life is indeed a journey, and that precious moments appear like magic when you surrender, hold hands, and fearlessly fling yourself into the great, wide, open. You can read more at her website,