Being different means being separate or distinct, being apart from the norms. When first faced with the challenge of being different, my initial thought was:

 

“Wouldn’t I be incredibly lonely, doing my own thing?”

 

It makes sense: Since no one else (or no one “normal”, anyway) is doing what you are, you wouldn’t have support. You wouldn’t have people to discuss with and to push you to achieve what you want to. Humans are social creatures, therefore naturally we fear being ostracized.

 

3 realizations persuaded me that it wasn’t all that bad:

 

1) You are never alone. Or, to quote a well-known soccer team (which I do not endorse. Read: Manchester United fan): You’ll Never Walk Alone.

 

When I first decided to shift my mindset away from one that was preoccupied by fulfilling academic criteria and educational structural demands, towards one that was focused on learning and experiencing what I could from the people around me, the modules I desired to take, and my freelance writing  jobs – on my own terms – I faced a lot of questions from my peers. Most of them revolved around this phrase:

 

But no one else is doing this, therefore you should not, just to be safe.”

 

It wasn’t true. As I began to talk to more people around campus, I realized there were a lot of like-minded people, just that they did not dare to do anything about it. They were simply going with the flow, but were miserable.

 

It only takes a spark, to get the fire going.

 

2) You find out who your real friends are.

 

A wise person told me this before (can’t remember who):

 

“If you want to find out who your true friends are, tell them your craziest dreams and desires – those who support you are truly your friends.”

 

In other words, being different and pursuing your dreams and passions will separate your fair-weathered friends from your hardy, storm-resistant friends. Perhaps you might not have as many friends as before, but those you do have are keepers, and they will help you through all your crazy schemes.

 

3) It’s worth it.

 

At the end of the day, it’s all worth it. When you achieve your personal goals, and start to live a passion-fueled, motivated life. When you wake up each day raring to go, knowing that life is exactly how you want it to be. When you know that there is something worth waking up for each day.

 

At the end of the day, life is good.

 

I know this for a fact – you’re definitely not alone here on this site. Share your thoughts and comments below, or even encouragement – there are people who need it 🙂

Author