In 2014, I will completely revolt from normality and embrace my uniqueness. I am different, one-of-a-kind, and for that, my head shall be raised high!
I’ve been called a weirdo, more than a few times actually. I’ve even been labeled crazy by peers who assure me it’s not an insult because “it works for me.” Believe it or not, some have even suggested that I “try and act normal” because my “personality is too intimidating.” And while I regretfully admit that I’ve given into peer pressure and “toned down” at times, my New Year’s revolution is to embrace my uniqueness, “turn up” and kick normality in its ass!
Nothing about being normal excites me. To be honest, I’m quite scared of the status quo; I’ve seen what it does to people. But despite my fears of being consumed by complacency, I’ve pretended to be normal around my peers just to fit in; to advance my cause, to be understood and not to stand out.
For example, when I see someone I haven’t seen for awhile and ask them: “Hey, what’s been going on with you?” and they respond: “Nothing much, same sh*t different toilet, what have you been up too?” I oddly feel braggadocios for sharing everything I’ve been doing and how I’ve been doing it, so I just give a generic response, like: “I’ve been busy, you know, working hard.”
The small talk ends and I go about my day, but in the back of my head I ask myself: “Why weren’t you honest about what you’ve been up too? Don’t you think you could have inspired them?” Although I carry the title of journalist and oversee a globally-recognized publishing brand, I’m just realizing the power of a story, but not just any story, the story of self.
In hindsight, I’ve done more harm than good in those small talk situations. Pretending not be great robs the person your speaking to of an opportunity to be inspired. Sharing the choices you’ve made, the challenges you’ve faced and what your outcomes were – especially if they were newsworthy – can provide them a guide to find their self and their purpose in life.
The truth is, I AM A GENIUS, no matter how much I deny it to myself and others so that I don’t come across self-aggrandizing. Being humble is one thing, false humility is another, but choosing humility should not come at the price of my own self-worth. I’ve come to learn that responding in small talk in a way that dismisses my self-worth is not humility its insecurity.
Am I insecure about being a genius? Yes, at times, sure. Being the smart kid wasn’t always the safest thing to be in a Philadelphia public school located in the “hood.” Suppressing my genius, creativity and eccentricity was done sometimes out of self-preservation, or so I thought. I now see that I wasn’t preserving myself, I was destroying myself, by pretending to be something I’m not – normal.
And while I stated earlier that I’m scared of the status quo, the truth is I was even more scared of my potential.
To quote author Marianne Williamson, from her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
In the New Year I won’t just liberate people by providing them free-to-read content or protesting on the front line against injustices, I will liberate people with my presence and my story of self. In 2014, I will completely revolt from normality and embrace my uniqueness. I am different, one-of-a-kind, and for that, my head shall be raised high!
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Source: TBO Inc®
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Photo: C. Norris