I don't know why but this has popped into my head and I felt the need to write a blog about it (so please bear with me!)
Let me tell you a story...
As a kid I remember getting ferociously bullied for being the 'weird one'.
I vividly remember that I once spent a whole day 'designing' my own backpack so that when I went to school I could be different from everybody else.
I spent hours stitching on patches, I used puffy paint and hand drew designs all over that bag. Once I was finished it wasn't exactly a work of art. But I was proud of creating something that I felt was a reflection of me and I couldn't wait to shove my school books into it and take it into school.
The next day I walked to school wearing that backpack feeling proud. But that feeling didn't last.
The second I stepped into my classroom I was greeted with sniggers and comments. The 'weird kid' had done it again - I hadn't conformed and that was apparently a big problem. The rest of the day I spent shuffling between classes trying to cover my bag with my coat or hiding it under the tables to try and prevent anybody else from negatively commenting about it.
After school I walked home feeling miserable and defeated. My creation weighing heavily on my back - I had gone from being proud to feeling ashamed and embarrassed that I had dared to be different.
As soon as I got home I marched upstairs and stuffed that bag at the top of my wardrobe and pushed blankets in front of it.
Out of sight - out of mind.
I never wore it again.
It's only now as a 25 year old woman that I can see how wrong I was.
Yes, kids can be cruel and they maybe shouldn't have been so harsh in their comments. I'm not going to lie as a sensitive 13 year old it hurt.
But I was wrong to back down. They were the ones with the problem not me! I should have put that backpack on and worn it again and again until it became accepted. Instead I bought a generic bag that everybody had and I wore it for the next few years and hated it. But the comments stopped.
I should have been stronger. I should have embraced that fact that I was a bit weird - rather than feeling embarrassed about it! I should have worn that bag every single day until they learnt to accept it or better yet wanted to make their own bag.
Change doesn't happen over night - and people don't automatically accept something different from the norm.
But without people being strong enough to be different then change would never happen.
That backpack is a tiny example.
Weirdness comes in many different forms - it can be how you choose to express yourself, your interests, what you like to eat, where you like to go etc... bascially anything outside of 'the norm'!
We are all weird in some way or another - the only difference is that some of us hide it and try to blend in. And others are brave enough to embrace it and create change.
Finding out what makes you weird and different is like finding out what your secret superpower is. It's the secret sauce that you can use to change the world.
I don't really know where I'm going with this