Don't Trade Your Personality For Normalcy

Don't Trade Your Personality For Normalcy

Of course you're not perfect. None of us are, and that is the beauty of humanity.

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Popular, yet controversial statement: normalcy is overrated.

By all means, stay sane. This is not an invitation to become psychotic. I am talking about your personality – what makes you you. Everything about you is special. Imagine if we were all the same: same hairstyle, same fashion taste, same laugh, same personality, same preferences. How boring would that world be? There would be nothing interesting about life. Because we are different, we are special.

Close your eyes and pretend you are walking in a field of flowers. All around you, as far as the eye can see, are white carnations. Everywhere you look, every plant you touch is a white carnation, and then you spot it. Your eye catches something different, something special, something awesome. A red tulip. Just one red tulip in the miles of white, like a red scarf in the snow. See how beautiful it is. See how different it is.

You are that red tulip. You are a diamond in the rough, a pearl among sand, the rose among thorns. You are that special beauty that catches the eye of the passerby.

But your beauty does not diminish the allure of everyone else. The red tulip does not take away from the grace of the white carnations. Each of the flowers is beautiful, whether in a bouquet together or standing alone in the grass. Though a red tulip is unique in a field of white carnations, the carnations are also unique unto themselves. And that uniqueness also makes them beautiful.

Difference does not make you ugly, and normalcy does not guarantee beauty.

You are the white carnation. You are also the red tulip. Have some spots or freckles or birthmarks? So does catmint. A bit big? So is amaryllis. Dainty and thin, often feel breakable? So is the African violet. Missing a couple of parts? Even flowers lose their petals.

You are special, and you are so beautiful. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

Of course you are going to stick out. That's how people notice you. You are a star in the inky void of the night sky. Don't extinguish your light just so you can blend in. If a star turned down her brightness, who would light the way? Don't tone down who you are just because someone dislikes you.

You can conform to societal standards and still look like a Barbie in her box, up on a shelf waiting to be bought, the same as thousands of other dolls. You can conform to societal standards of beauty and still be yourself. It's all about who you are, what makes you comfortable, and staying true to yourself. Don't listen to Ariel. Don't change yourself for a man or to be accepted. Now, if you want to have plastic surgery solely because you want it, by all means, go ahead. But don't feel like you should be pressured into fitting a mold you weren't made for.

Of course you're not perfect. None of us are, and that is the beauty of humanity.

Be brave. Be bold. Be beautiful. But most of all, be yourself. And remember:

Smile.

Breathe.

They are going to love you.

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We ALL Have Some Kind Of Disability, Even If We Don't Acknowledge It

Sometimes we fail to recognize our disabilities simply because we have learned to live with them; yet, we criticize those who have visible disabilities even though they too have learned to live with them.
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Many of us have probably heard the famous saying: "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

What many of us probably don’t realize is how true this may be in our own lives.

Everyone has something that may disable them from doing things that others can do.

Disabilities can be physical or mental. Maybe you have asthma, a speech impediment or a phobia. While these things may disable individuals from doing certain tasks, these are all disabilities that one can learn to easily live with.

Other disabilities are more visibly noticeable, such as limb amputations, lung diseases that require one to use an oxygen concentrator or scoliosis.

Regardless of how visible our disabilities may be, we need to recognize that we all have things that may disable us.

Notice that I said, “may disable us.” This is where "turning lemons into lemonade" comes into play. Just because something has the potential to disable us doesn’t mean that we must let it do so.

Yes, there will be things that we may be physically unable to do regardless of how hard we try. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot find ways to adapt. Humans can be stubborn and that’s not a bad thing.

Stubbornness may allow us to overcome our disabilities.

My grandmother had three amputation surgeries last summer, the last being a below-knee amputation. I have quickly learned where my stubbornness comes from as I have watched her recover.

She has quickly learned to adapt to the new methods she must use to do daily tasks such as moving around the house.

My grandmother has learned how to live her life as if nothing has changed; it is as if she does not even have a disability.

It is easy to see that my uncle, David, is physically different than the average person. His Down Syndrome causes him to be shorter, and he has distinct facial characteristics that differ from the average person.

What you may also notice, if you meet David, is that he doesn’t let these physical differences dictate his life. If you asked him, David wouldn’t know that anything is different with himself. It’s not that he has been sheltered from the fact that he is different.

He simply has learned how to live with his differences and has family members that are willing to support him.

One of my friends has Spina Bifida and, sadly, has faced unjust situations because of their disabilities. As a college student, it is very difficult for my friend to find transportation to classes.

One transportation company will only provide their services when an individual lives 500 feet from a bus stop; unfortunately, my friend does not.

Nevertheless, my friend is resilient and is taking online courses so that they may further their education.

I dare to say that everyone has something that may disable them. However, I also dare to say that many individuals do not recognize their disabilities simply because they have learned to adapt.

If everyone has something that may disable them, why do we criticize those whose disabilities are more visible?

I challenge you to reflect on your own life. Reflect on the things that may disable you. Reflect on how you have overcome the things that try to disable you. Reflect upon the judgment that you have unjustly given others due to their disabilities.

It is easy to laugh at someone else when they are struggling with something that we could easily do ourselves. But it is difficult when we are the ones being laughed at.

The next time you consider criticizing someone else because of their disabilities, remember that you, too, have things that may disable you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I'm The 'Fat Friend' And I Am OK With That

My size will not be my downfall.

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"As a child, fat was the first-word people used to describe me, which didn't offend me until I found out it was supposed to" - Blythe Baird

Growing up, I have always had a problem with my weight. I was the biggest kid in all of my primary school classes and the obese child in the family. Of course, when I was little, I didn't know that "fat" was a derogatory word. I didn't even notice that I had a problem until I was told otherwise.

Every doctor visit became more about the weight shown on the scale rather than the reason I was there. Every Christmas photo became me standing next to Santa because I was afraid I would break his leg if I sat on it. Every school lunch became me giving my tray to someone else so I wouldn't have to eat the food on it.

My size became my life, and it ruined my self-esteem.

But then it all changed. After years of hating how big I was, I started changing. I learned to wear clothes that make me look and feel confident. I started looking at myself in the mirror and loving what I saw. I started smiling when trying on clothes. I started loving myself.

My weight was just a number - it no longer defined me as a person.

I did try to lose weight, but it was more about health than size. I shopped for clothes that fit my body and all of its beautiful curves. I eat what I want when I want now. When people call me fat to hurt me, I no longer let it resonate in my mind. I am big and I am beautiful.

Yeah, I am the "fat friend," but I wouldn't change that for a thing.

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