Alright here’s a secret…
If I show up to a party with a christmas sweater in July, i’m not making a statement that we need to be festive year round. Maybe it’s just all I had left in my closet, and it’s comfortable okay?
If I’m drinking fair trade coffee in a mason jar, it’s not because i’m a ‘hipster’ that thinks large coffee corporations are evil and the world is a bad place. I just happen to like mason jars and think it’s cool that some companies choose to pay their employees enough money to live, or maybe I bought it by accident, it doesn’t matter.
I’m tired of being labeled for things that I want to just be able to do. I’m tired of having to decide if i’m feeling up for getting attention or whether I’ll just act normally and avoid it. I’m tired of having to figure out what’s normal so I can try to comply with it.
Being different isn’t about standing out, it’s about making it okay for others to be different. It’s about acting on your innate uniqueness. It’s about just being who you are, not because you are expecting other people to notice.
It’s about opening up the idea for people to express their individuality and not feel like they have to be absorbed by what’s popular. We all go through periods of really wanting to fit in, but for the vast majority struggle to feel accepted, I believe that choosing to be different can allow other people to see that it’s okay.
I often find myself in between two options:
On one hand, i don’t want to be stared at everytime I walk into a room, however I also desperately don’t want to be grouped together with every other person, until I feel like I have completely lost myself and am just a product of whomever i’m with the most.
I like being barefoot. I don’t do it because I don’t have shoes, or because I want to be ‘different’. In fact, much of the I won’t go barefoot simply because it’s not ‘normal’.
Really, I just like the feeling of the ground under my feet, and I feel more free. That’s all. Sometimes I wish I didn’t live in Canada, where for half the year that’s not possible.
If you see me around, and I’m doing or wearing something weird, no I won’t be offended if you comment about it, but just know that i’m not making a statement. Unless that statement is
“I like this so I’m wearing it.”
Many of these references include clothing, which I absolutely do not see as the ‘be all and end all’ of your identity and label. However I do think it’s the easiest for us to relate to, and I personally identify with the daily battle of deciding whether my clothing choices will be ‘ordinary’ or not.
If you’ve ever written an exam you might know the feeling of walking into a room with rows of empty desks, sitting down to the paper in front of you, along with hundreds of other students. In that moment, you are a number. you are just a student who needs a certain grade to pass this exam. Your skills, interests, passions, none of that matters at this moment. It’s all about how much you memorized, how much sleep you got, and how much information you can spew out of your mind in the allotted two hours.
I wish that our lives would look much differently. I don’t want to follow every fashion trend so that I’ll fit in, and comply with every ‘normal’ pattern of behavior just so I’m not noticed as being different.
I think that the more people know that they have the ability to do it, the less they will feel like they are ‘making a statement’ and the more you can just embrace the things that you love. If people will be so quick to assume that you are ‘making a statement’ then that’s their fault for being so close-minded.
I think we all want to experience the freedom of our uniqueness, but only some will.
It’s not about ‘trying’ to be different, because the fact is, you ARE different. You are not, and never have been, the same as everyone else so don’t feel like you need to be.
If you want to walk around in barefeet. DO IT.
If you want to have a pet penguin, DO IT. (probably not realistic, but it’d be totally cool)
If you want to [insert societally unordinary behavior here], DO IT.
It doesn’t matter what it is. Just go for it, please.
Because if everyody is trying to be the same thing we’re going to end up being nothing at all.
Yes, people will try and put a label on you. It’s what we do. We like to know how to categorize things and put them in a box. I do it too.
Not everything has to be that easy. Be free to explore what you like and who you want to be. It will be scary at first, but I promise you it will get easier.
As my friend Hannah said to me one time when I was fearful of wearing a dress and getting unwanted attention (because I normally wear grungy clothes not because I think i’ll look smokin’)
“Don’t let them put you in a box … just be yourself”
Embrace your differences, so others can do the same.
Tell me about a time you did something you really wanted to, even though you knew people would think it was weird, what was it and what was the outcome?
Think of something that RIGHT NOW you want to do but don’t want too stand out or be labeled. DO IT. and tell me about it!!
BE DIFFERENT. IT’S WHO YOU ARE.