About 150 years ago, okay – it is slightly less than that, when I was a teenager…I was painfully shy. I didn’t want to be but always marched to the beat of my own drum. I wasn’t a follower and I never have been.
Teenagers judge, as teens do, and I was judged to be a snob. I’m not sure how that prognoses came about but that is what was conveyed to me, years later. Had they known about the abusive, broken (and very unhappy) home I lived in, perhaps they’d have been kinder…but I doubt it. Kids can be mean no matter what the circumstances are.
“We all thought you were a snob.” I was told at my 10-year GRAD reunion. I haven’t been to one, since.
Perhaps it’s because I didn’t try very hard to ‘fit’ in to any particular group; I still don’t but people think I do. I just…be. I’m there. If you like me, cool, if not, that’s cool, too.
But you know, I USED to care. It used to bother me that I was the last one picked in gym class or for any group project. It USED to bother me that the cliquey groups talked about me behind my back and that I had all of two friends, at the time, in the entire world.
I was and am different and what I’ve learned over the years is that my difference makes me super cool to more people than I thought. I was (and am still to some degree) very sensitive and I can’t relate to people who are surface dwellers. What I mean by that is – many folks are shallow and can’t possibly understand anyone who swims in the deep end. That’s okay; difference strokes, right? Pun intended.
My point is- if you’re that young person who is shy, maybe a little depressed because of things happening at home, misunderstood, picked on, etc. I’m here to tell you that it’s all going to be okay if you don’t get caught up in the bullshit. I get it. Like Bilbo, I’ve been there and back again. In fact, I did the journey a few times. There were dragons, too!
If you believe in yourself even a little bit, you’ll make it. Know that I believe in you. I was you.
If you’re that different person, I want to tell you to celebrate! You are some of the chosen few who are able to not only swim in the deep in but live there. You’re incredibly special. These are fantastic survival techniques. Should one of the shallow-ended people be tossed into the drink where you are, they always end up drowning.
YOU are the survivor. You were made for this, baby!
I’m not going to tell you to NOT let things bother you because they still will. Work through it; you can do it. You’ve got this. I’m here to let you know that it’s this very process that makes you strong and teaches you that at the end of the day, you don’t need to let it bother you. Once you get that, once you lose your dependence on what others think:
Then…you will let it go.
You’ll find at some point you don’t need it anymore and what has taken its place, well…that would be confidence coupled with a lot of humility and gratitude that you weathered the storm. Be proud, you brave and beautiful warrior.
You did it. You made it and if you’re still in the thick of it, you’re GOING to make it. I’m sure of it.Don’t doubt yourself and if you do, look in the mirror and picture yourself at 40 or 50 and see the amazing human who is living the dream in your eyes. He is there. She is waiting for you.
You are the people who are the teachers, the entrepreneurs, the givers and believers, the lovers and dreamers. You are the future of change and change is inevitable. So, keep on fighting the good fight and when someone doesn’t like you or ignores you for whatever reason. Know that it’s because they’re making room for others (the right people for you) to come into your life. Those that understand.
Go get ‘em tiger. I’m in your corner. Dare to be different.