I’ll Always be Different, but I’ll Always be Me.

September 27, 2014

I ran across this quote today,

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

-Steve Jobs

What got me thinking about this quote was the thought process I went through when I was quiet young, around when I was in the 5th grade. You see, whenever someone asked me the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I never had an answer like all the kids my age. I would hear kids say “Doctor, Vet, Police men, Firefighters” the typical thing you would expect a child to respond with.

I was different though, I was always different and I knew I was different. I also knew that being different wasn’t “normal” you could say. So when I answered with an “I don’t know,” the adults told me I had to choose something. That was what I heard from most people. So when my mother told me that I would be a doctor when I grew up, I frowned, but accepted it. I wasn’t happy about it but I felt as if it was mandatory for me to choose. So then, when I was asked that question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would answer with a simple “A doctor,” which made the adults smile and say they were proud. So, I kept answering with that.

It wasn’t until high school, when my teacher had said “You should do what you love, what makes you happy,” I thought of what I wanted to do with my life. And my answer to that question once again changed to “I don’t know,” because honestly, I didn’t know. All I knew was that I never felt right in any category.

I’m a creative person, at least I would say I am. I love to paint pictures that make you want to stare at them for hours, take pictures the speak a thousand words, write stories that give you feelings that simple words shouldn’t be able to make you feel. I’m not someone who sees the black and withes of the world, I see the colors that people ignore, the glitter that people are afraid to touch because no one has dared to touch it before them. I’ve always felt like the outcast.

So when I somehow managed to find this quote, it struck me. Because, I don’t want to be another social casualty, I don’t want to follow the black and white path everyone is walking across. I want to take my eyes away from the black and white road and step into the bright green grass that surround it. I don’t want to have to follow the arrows that points left, where the black and white road leads. I want to turn right and jump into the pool of rainbow that everyone else is afraid to face.

Because that’s not me. I’m not the type of person who can look at details and get intrigued by them. I look at new ideas and am fascinated by them. I want to be able to laugh and have that glow in my eyes when I see something that amazes me. I want to take a chance and leap for something big and surprise everyone who told me “You have to live life like this, and there is no other way you should be looking at life,” because that’s not me.

I have a dream that one day I will be somewhere where no one expected me to be. I want to create something so beautiful that when someone comes in contact with it, it makes their hearts flutter with non-existent butterflies. Because I know I’m not like everybody else and I know I never want to be like anyone else. I like how I am.

I’m always going to be that person who would rather compliment others instead of getting complimented, because in the end, the feeling of happiness when I see the other person smile when I compliment them, beets the happiness I feel when someone compliments me.

I’m always going to be that person who smiles as they pass strangers even in my worst days. Because I know that a smile can brighten someone’s day.

I’ll always be different, but I’ll always be me.

And I won’t ever regret that.

-Shanzida Khandaker

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