Everyone has heard the phase “why fit in when you were born to stand out.” Contrary to popular belief, “standing out” is harder than you think. In today’s society there are these “boxes” that people expect everyone to fit into. Just like when young children are growing they reach milestones at certain times, people expect that someone at a certain age will do certain things. However, being a part of the small group of people who don’t find into those “boxes” are what makes life a little more tricky. Not being a part of the group who fits into the stereotypical mold comes with both benefits and downfalls.
Those of us who don’t fit into those “boxes” view the world differently. Personally, I see the world as a place for opportunity- a place for both personal and professional growth. I see problems and issues that need to be addressed, however I can also envision creative solutions to those same problems. The times that I visualize a solution, I act on it – putting what I believe is right into action. This is something very few people are actually able to execute. However, on the other side because this is the way my mind works, other people are often very quick to judge. They are quick to say that I am too smart for my age or that I am a different because I create projects that no one has thought to do before. While those comments may be viewed as compliments, they can also be hurtful. Yes, I know I’m not the typical teenage girl and that is totally okay.
One late night while laying in my hospital bed a realization washed over me. Normal is a funny word. Why is this six letter word so odd? Because we all get caught up is what we should be doing compared to what others are doing. We don’t have control of what crazy turns life takes, but we do have control over how we react when situations do arise. I’m 18 – I should, as society would depict it, be staying up late to the hours past midnight finishing homework and talking to friends as it’s my senior year in high school. Instead I fall asleep at 9 pm because my body is so exhausted from fighting to only wake up a few hours later to feel crummy and need to take medication. My “normal” looks nothing like anyone of my friends, but that’s completely okay. I’m right where I need to be to grow and learn even in the mist of these crazy events and circumstances thrown my way. I’m right where my body needs to be to get the help it needs to fight this epic battle it’s fighting. Well okay reality check, it’s not super epic as it’s not all fun and games and more like guts and glory. However, it sounds cooler to think about it that way right?
Even with being sick everything that I do comes from a place within my heart that has the desire to want to help make this world a better place. A conversation with my physical therapist the other day prompted me to think why do what I do when the reality is some days it’s really hard and some people don’t understand. Three little words – I love it. Everyday I wake up with the mindset of how can I make today better than yesterday not just for myself, but for other individuals too. As people can tell you from the minute they meet me one thing that sits near and dear to my heart is helping others – gosh, I even wrote a paper way back in middle school about the importance of caring for others. After being in the hospital for weeks on end, I have seen so many things. There are so many people, not just me, who are hurting and sick who need help. I had the chance to meet some amazing and resilient people during my time inpatient. This has changed my views and I have set a goal to help make this world a more accepting place. Stay tuned for my adventure forward with this.
The truth is just because who I am does not fit into one of “boxes” most of my peers would fit into doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being me. Extruding self confidence is knowing who you are as a person and trusting your own judgment; that my friends, is far more important than what other people think of you. Being able to put aside all the comments, good or bad, at the end of the day and just be you. I’ll be honest; this doesn’t always come easy, we are all humans and words can hurt. However, those same words can be turned into the fuel needed to have the courage and confidence to rise up, be the best version of one’s self and reach the goals that have been set.
No one will ever be happy trying to satisfy what others want them to do to fit in that “box”. Take a look at the bigger picture – boxes are three dimensional. There are many different sides to that same object. Being in a different location than others can’t stop individuals from thriving. If anything, they will raise up and be the ones who have the courage to change not only just what the “box” looks like, but also the world.
– The Functionally Faulty Girl, Caroline
*** the information on this blog is meant for informational purposes only and is based off of the author’s personal experience and does not replace information given by a licensed physician***