There was a phrase a couple of years back that became so ubiquitous that I developed a physical response to hearing it. Each time someone uttered “It is what it is,” the hair on the back of my neck legitimately stood up and I began to exhale loudly. The phrase annoyed me, I think because it seemed so passive, so completely relinquishing control. Not my way, I guess.
The phrase that I’m hearing kind of frequently now is one I find less irritating – You do you. My hippie wannabe son has been dropping it on me for quite a few months, yet it hasn’t even begun to wear on my nerves. In fact, I kind of love it and I find myself smiling each time I hear it. You do you.
During my run tonight, I was thinking that nothing so perfectly illustrates the transition from It is what it is to You do you as Caitlyn née Bruce Jenner. Olympic hero and put upon parent to a collection of 10 (?) children, Bruce Jenner could have elected to continue flirting with Caitlyn, perhaps indulging his desire for female attributes and accoutrements exclusively out of the public eye, but instead, he decided to do him. Or, more accurately, her.
I can’t imagine the conflict experienced by a person who constantly feels that their external self does not accurately reflect their internal reality. It’s hard enough to look in the mirror occasionally and behold an image that doesn’t match the way we’re feeling – where did those lines and wrinkles come from? I still feel like I’m 22! The continual clash between personal perception of self and the visage we present to humanity can’t be anything short of perpetually jarring.
At 65 years of age, Caitlyn Jenner was introduced to the world in a way that has caused a social media frenzy. Some folks are having a difficult time reconciling Bruce with Caitlyn, are struggling to accept that a man who became an international hero by asserting his athletic prowess in one of the world’s most ancient events, prefers to define himself as female. You know what? It is what it is. You do you. All the best to you, Caitlyn Jenner.