Growing up I was never that confident, popular and effortlessly cool kid. As a matter a fact, I was quite the opposite. I was constantly bullied and made fun of because I wasn’t fitting in. The music I liked, my hobbies and interests were a strange and diverse combo – a cornucopia of styles stuffed in an ever curious mind.
My childhood – as well as my formative teenage years – were punctuated by deep rebellion and rejection. Of self for most of the times, but also for the rules and normality. I know, the rebellious teenager… how cliche *insert rolling eyes* 🙄.
There are so many “should’s” and “must’s” that we get programmed with since early age. So many boxes, labels and rules that we get affixed to our personalities. Things that are acceptable or “cool” to say and do. Everything for the sake of fitting in…
A lot of kids nowadays wear the flag of non-conformity as a badge of honor, as yet another way to be cool and trendy.
But back in the very early 90’s, if you were a girl like me that studies computer science, loves The Prodigy, techno, rock and basically every single genre they told you is for mad people, draws every day, makes songs in Propellerheads ReBirth / Reason and designs her own clothes (very badly, but still…) – life was anything but glamorous and trendy. Even to this day, there are moments when society tries to make me feel ashamed of who I am and what I love.
For the longest times I kept bumping into people’s limitations and got projected their fears on myself.
“No, you cannot do that” “Are you really going to wear that?” “You can’t say this to them” “Nobody does what they like in life” “Why don’t you wear more dresses?” “You can’t do creative stuff all the time” “That’s not appropriate” “That’s not in our corporate guidelines” “Just be nice!” “Girls don’t do that!” “You have to shut up and do what you are told” – sentences burned into my memory like a hot iron on a cattle.
But you see, the rules and the norms are created by the fearful and meant to keep you mediocre. Once in a while you gotta let the fire burn you down to the ground and then rebuild yourself from the ashes.
I never believed it deeply before, but discomfort is sometimes necessary in order to push you forward. Somehow through all the torment, confusion and anxiety, I made it out alright. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, because all those moments and challenges taught me something very important: who I was and what makes me unique.
And if you look closer, we all have that spark of madness and uniqueness inside of us. We are all different. That’s the whole beauty of it!! How awesome it is to live in an Universe where all the stars and the stardust within them are irregular and distinct? So why do we try so hard to fit in? No matter how “perfect” you’ll try to be, they will still talk behind your back and fake smile to your face.
You see, creativity and self expression takes COURAGE. If you truly want to see your dreams come true, you gotta be brave and sometimes you gotta let go.
That’s why I beg you: don’t settle. Don’t settle for anything less than who you TRULY are. Don’t allow the outside world drown your inner voice. If you love it, embrace it fully. If you hate it, use it to learn what you love instead. Embrace your darkness, your misfit, your flaws and your spark of madness. Because that’s the only way you can come out whole through the other side.
And most importantly: don’t let them tell you who you suppose to be. It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be.
D E F Y N O R M S
Thank you so much for reading!
As always, much love <3