• Bobby Dye

Being different

It’s okay to be different. This world and the individuals who inhabit it try, and typically succeed in some manner, to shape us. Sometimes, they mold us into who they want us to become, not who we’re destined to be.

Molding


From the moment you come out of your Mom’s womb, you’re told what “normal” is. You hear things like boys should wear blue, show no emotion, and be as tough as nails. Girls should wear pink, display feelings, and be sensitive. Of course, these are gender norms, some of which have plagued earth for quite some time. Although we have and continue to eradicate these ideologies, it’s the very idea of molding a child into the person you ultimately want them to be, not who they are meant to be, that is scary.


It’s no secret parents often project parts of themselves onto their children. No matter what happened to you as a kid, if it’s negative, get rid of it. We must break the cycle. Giving in to the pressures of this world does no one any good. It always is, and always will be okay to fight for what is right and what you believe. It’s okay to go against the grain if it means doing what you feel is the right thing.


Realization


As with any problem in life, the realization of it is necessary. In some ways, we are all shaped and molded by this world. However, we should always seek to tap into the parts of us that feel right. Human intuition is real, and it’s the very bridge that will help you find yourself in this lifetime. If you feel right playing sports as a girl, play them. Don’t let the “tomboy” label stop you from being you. If you’re a boy and you like writing poetry or drawing, don’t let anyone stop you from doing them by telling you those things are “girly.”


Don’t get me wrong; doing what feels right takes tremendous courage. It’s not always easy to listen to your intuition, and sometimes it’s easier to go with the status quo. But if you listen to your heart, you’ll be glad you did most of the time. Because your intuition is just that, it’s yours. No one else has it and knows what you feel. You’ll always know yourself better than anyone else will, which is why you must trust your inner compass and what it is telling you about the direction you are headed in. You liking something eclectic or out of the ordinary is unique because it’s you, and you matter.


Embrace your differences


If you have a hobby, not many people can relate to, or an activity you do that no one else seems to like, it doesn’t make you “weird.” Weird is such a complicated word. Its actual meaning is centered around something being supernatural. Yet, as with many words in the English dictionary, people find a way to turn it into something it isn’t. Typically if someone calls you weird, it’s because they think you are odd in a repulsive way. I don’t know about you, but I pride myself on being different.

Every time I think about being different, I am reminded of my childhood and the show, The Fairly OddParents. There’s an episode where the star of the show, Timmy Turner, and everyone else turned gray. Not only did everyone look alike, but they all also started to act similarly. By the middle of the episode, everyone was the same, with no difference in looks, personalities, characteristics, or anything else you can imagine that separates or makes us unique.


The episode always made me think about the world we live in and how some people try hard to make our world gray, wanting everyone to look, dress, act, and feel the same. If this is how the world indeed was at any point in time, society as we know it wouldn’t be the same. Because throughout time, there have always been individuals who embraced their uniqueness, which led to revolutions in technology, exploration, and anything else you can imagine. When you think about it, it’s what makes the world turn.


If we were all the same, we would live miserable, mundane lives. What makes this life and everything in it so extraordinary and unique is that we are all different. We all are born with different gifts and purposes. If happiness is what humans seek, it’s our responsibility to embrace our differences. Of course, on a racial, cultural, and socioeconomic level. But furthermore, on a personal level. Because even within specific cultural backgrounds, there are statistical anomalies, and that’s okay.


As a collective society, we must do a better job of normalizing being different. Far too often, we use the word different to tear people down or point out their mistakes. The root of the word means to be distinct in your qualities. It doesn’t mean you are weird, odd, or any other adjective. It means you are you, and that is the most beautiful thing you will ever be. Embrace who you are, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise, follow your instincts and intuition, and always remain yourself. Being you unapologetically is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself.

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