Lessons in Being Different

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It’s a cliche, I know, to say ‘be different.’

It’s something I heard all the time from adults, from my parents or my teachers, while growing up. And the funny thing is that they developed a million different platitudes to etch it into my then-pubescent head.

“Don’t fall in with the crowd.” “Go against the flow.” “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?” And blah, blah, blah, blah…

But what’s weird is that while I knew that I was supposed to be different, nobody really explained to me how to be different. And that posed a serious problem for me as I got older.

Because, when I was a kid, I thought being different meant being alone. I thought it meant isolating yourself from normal people and normal things — after all “normal” people and things couldn’t be unique, right?

But what I found at the end of that…

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