Kids who were known as the "problem child," "disrespectful," or " rebellious" are most likely kids who were just misunderstood. Being that kid, it was safe to say that I was always the family's black sheep because I was not like the other kids in my family. Not only was I the only child who had no father growing up and who lived in the ghetto and went to a predominantly black school, but I was also a child who thought differently.

I remember my mother always telling me bad things about my father growing up and because I had no recollection of seeing him until I was thirteen years old, most kids in my situation would have taken their mother's word on how the absent parent was. When it came to me, that was not the case. I resented my mom for a while because of the things she would say about him.

My thought process at the time was that I never saw the man so why does he have to be put into conversations and the problems my mom was facing when it came to her personal life and raising me?

Because of my mom's constant bashing towards my father and other people in our lives, I would often go against her ideas and beliefs. This had created a lot of strain within our relationship, even to this day.

For some reason, I developed a mentality where if I did not see things for myself I would not fully go with the idea that was presented to me not only by my family but even teachers and peers as well. Because of this not only was it hard to conform to the expectations of my family but it also had cost me friendships as well.

Having a mindset that was different from others was not only challenging but it was also very lonely. I remember my ex getting mad at me when I refused to believe certain things about his ex he has a child with. Although he had a bad relationship with her I realized that he also had faults. Part of having a mind of your own is also being real with the people you care about.

At the time I cared about my ex a lot and any time he had said something I did not agree with regarding his child's mother I would always point it out and in return would always get the silent treatment. I do this not because I was trying to side with the mother but it was because of the fact that I was able to see past his words and piece together the truth based on what I saw.

Having a mind of your own comes with good analytical skills. you are not a person who blindly submits to another person's ideas or beliefs. You have stronger intuitions and more independent in thinking. Although it can lead you to be indecisive about a lot of things it gives you the ability to see options with what you can do in certain aspects of your life that many people would not even know was there.

There were days where I wished that I could be able to be a follower like most people, but then as I had gotten older I learned that having a mind of your own makes you more aware of yourself and it keeps you away from feeling like a fool once you learned that an idea you refused to follow turns out to be wrong all along.

It also keeps the right people by your side and scares away weak-minded and toxic individuals. If you are someone who is strong-willed and has a mind of their own I encourage you to treasure it because at the end of the day no one can ever take that ability away from you.