Our parents, our teachers, and society implores you to be your own person. Yet, they prosecute you for being tattooed or just plain different. This Lighten up Thursday, I wanted to remind you to embrace what makes you different.
How did I learn that I was different?
When I was little, I wasn’t exactly like everyone else. My parents let me wear rain boots to school everyday in the first grade. I took my school picture in rain boots. Yet, I saw absolutely nothing wrong with that. As I galloped around in these white and bright pink boots, I ignored the frowns, the awkward stares and the years of being bullied. As the age progressed, so did my style. It went from rainboots and sunhats to fishnets and mohawks!
One thing that never changed? Being “different” for me was natural. It was both unconditional and uncontrollable. I mean, sure the snakebites and the tattoos were a choice, but when it came to my choices… those things just felt right.
What does that have to do with you and why you should embrace what makes you different?
Society is kind of hypocritical when it comes to being different. Each advertisement and each form of media challenges you to dare to be different. Yet, they stifle you with uniforms, dress code policies, and they judge you off appearance. I spent an entire year stifling everything I am to embark on a career path I wasn’t even dreaming of taking. Constantly hiding myself made me feel sick. Why couldn’t I just be myself? Then I quit and not only am I myself but I’m doing what I love each and everyday!
Are you sacrificing who you really are for the sake of someone else? You don’t have to. If everyone kept their originality, there would be no different. There would only be unique people who stayed true to themselves. as someone who owns a business, I plan to hire people who are original, who stand out, who are their own person… I’m not the only one either! I’m not biased, I swear! Kate White, author of “I Shouldn’t be Telling You This,” and chief editor of the magazine Cosmo says she once became interested in a job candidate based on her cover letter which read:
My favorite afternoons are spent in mismatched pajamas, coffee in hand, flipping through pages of Cosmo.
Kate said it had her at mismatched pajamas and I couldn’t agree more! Any job who isn’t interested in how your unique style and quirky interests can contribute to their company shouldn’t be interesting to you! Now, I’m not saying go to your law school orientation interview with a pair of uncomfortable fishnets and your little sister’s crop top on. (Unless you’re guest staring on a reunion episode of Punk’d in which case, email me a video!)
What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t forget who you are: a shamelessly unique individual who is unafraid of the word different. This is a real life, possibly the only one you’ll ever get! Express yourself everyday! Do you have a pair of cowboy boots you’ve always wanted to try? Do it! It’s liberating! Trust me, I live the life of the different everyday.