Maybe everyone was wrong when they said daydreaming during class was a bad thing. It helped me clear my mind, free my head, explore my passions—and it changed my life.
I started writing novels at the age of eight. After completing all of my schoolwork during class one day, I requested what I should do next, and I looked up at the window to a selection of ideas laid out by my esteemed second grade teacher, Mrs. Eaton. Between playing with Legos, learning Braille, and painting a picture, I lacked the sort of resonance I was hoping for. Finally, I saw ‘write a book,’ and it was as if my entire life became a set path within a matter of moments.
That discovery rescued me from a life that didn’t even have to exist. It brought out the happiness that has long kept me going. I remember rushing to the stapler, binding pages of paper, and drawing illustrations on the covers of makeshift books. As the years passed by, the books became more and more serious. I read them to classes of all sizes, practicing my presentation skills to the fullest. I taught sessions on creative writing, wrote skits, led local newspapers, and organized events. I knew exactly what I wanted to be—an author. And guess what? That hasn’t changed.
Some people believe in fate. Others believe in good timing. I guess I’m not very skeptical because I believe in both. Writing found me for a reason, and for as long as I’ve been around, it has became a part of me that I could never dream of giving up.
My dreams extend beyond that, too. I have always had dreams to make a difference, to show people that it’s okay to be different. A lot of my childhood, I faced bullies and struggled to fit in with my peers around me. I’ve been called hurtful names, been ignored, been secluded from groups because of who I was and what I decided to wear to school one day. I played soccer with the guys, but I never fit in with the girls. I guess maybe I never had “that thing,” but you know what? That’s okay.
Now that I’m older, I realize how proud I am that I never succumbed to peer pressure, never gave up because I couldn’t hang out with the “cool kids.” As I grew wiser, I realized I was exactly who I wanted to be, and the only thing that needed to change was me thinking that I had a reason to.
I know kids from all over who face issues like bullies all of the time. I am here to say, it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be unique from others. My dream may have made me more reserved from others as a child, but it also bred my confidence and social skills as an adult. No matter your age, letting your passions, morals, and ambitions define you is what brings you closer to success—not a yearning to be like everyone else.
It doesn’t matter what kind of clothes you wear, where you go to school, how long your hair is, or what you have to eat for dinner one night. Everyone was born into this world for a reason. Whether that reason was to protect your loved ones, to be an artist, or to find the cure to cancer, we are all here to stand for something.
For that reason, I designed something just for you. I call it the BeUnique Campaign, designed for kids specifically but mostly there for all of us to share our passions and dreams to show that being different is okay. Being different should be celebrated. After all, this isn’t a utopian society where commonalities are mandatory. Just make sure that you are always the best version of yourself. Be true to yourself. There is only one of you.
Now, what makes you different from everyone else?