My sister-in-law is a florist. She can take a few hands full of ditch weeds and dandelions and make them look amazing in about five seconds.
On the flip side of that coin, many department stores sell centerpieces stuffed with plastic flowers consisting of perfectly-arranged imitations of beautiful blossoms.
Sit them side by side and the arrangement of ditch weeds and dandelions looks far more impressive.
The same is true with people. I find a person whose life is full of genuine dandelions and ditch weeds to be far more compelling than the person whose life is full of plastic roses, and I’m far from alone in that conclusion.
In other words, you’re better off being proud of being a ditchweed than trying to be a rose and merely being a plastic imitation of one. Stop caring what other people think. Be passionate and proud of who you are and what you enjoy and stop spending a dime of your money or an ounce of your energy trying to be something you’re not.
You’ll find that, if you do it, there are an awful lot of people who will be right along with you for the ride.
Dress in clean clothes that appeal to you. They will make you feel more comfortable in public and more confident in who you are, making it easier for you to build the relationships that you’re in public to build (and make you feel more comfortable when you’re doing your own thing as well).
Decorate your home with the things you’re passionate about, not the things you think your guests will like. It becomes less expensive that way, you’ll enjoy the experience more, and your guests will feel that passion. I’ve been in some wonderful homes that were decorated with album covers, with D&D art, and with their own photographs, and all were amazing because the people in the homes were so clearly happy and content.
Spend your time (and money) engaged in whatever hobbies and activities fulfill you the most, no matter what the neighbors might be doing or thinking. If you’re happy and engaged and feel alive, their thoughts on the matter really have little consequence.
Be who you are. Chase your own passions. Stop spending time or money impressing others (unless it’s purely necessary for career gain, as in building a resume or dressing for an interview). You’ll find happiness down this road, as well as a lot less unnecessary spending and a lot less time spent doing things that don’t make your spirit sing.
Are you a plastic flower or a vibrant dandelion? Do you sink your money into appearances alone or into the actual content of your character?
The choice is yours.