What I Didn’t Know About Being “Different”

As I clutched the abridged copy of Jane Eyre to my chest, they told me such magical things. They told be that being special and unique was good. They told me that I’d grow up to marry some amazing man and have adorable children without even trying. They told me that the smart people were the ones that would succeed. They told me that kindness was the cornerstone of all relationships with other human beings. They told me that I’d be radiant. That I’d be beautiful. That I’d be smart. That I’d be different and it’d all be wonderful. No one warned be about high school.

 No one warned be about the perils of being a smart girl. No one told me that little girls who hide away reading in their crawlspaces grow up to eat lunch in an abandoned stairwell because they don’t quite fit into the real world. No one told me that I’d be mocked on the internet for contributing to class discussions. No one told me that if I got lazy and careless with my intellect, that I was so capable of failure.
No one warned me about boys. No one told me that smart guys go for dumb girls and dumb guys go for dumb girls and the smart girls are often left twiddling their thumbs. No one told me that the Christian boys would be outnumbered by the Christian girls in every situation. No one told me that a boy could be wonderful, smart, kind, funny, and not have Jesus. No one told me how I was going to watch everyone else fall in love. No one told me how much hormones were going to mess with my heart, my head, and everything that I thought I knew.
 No one told me that the attitude of “I’m going to get out of here and change the world” is not so different and rarely ends with a change. No one told me that if you were actually going to change this ol’ world, it’s really, really hard.
No one told me that being different would sometimes be the last thing I wanted to be. 
 And if they did, I didn’t listen. I brushed it off with a “that wont happen to me” and a little laugh at the world. I never guessed that I would ever have moments of yelling into the universe, “I don’t want to be different! I want to feel pretty and have a boyfriend and go to school dances with a real date and just fit in.”
 Yet a little straight iron to my hair, hollister to my wardrobe, and boy to my side will never satisfy me.
 See, there are moments when it’s all worth it. There are moments of knowing that in that very second you are doing what you were created to do, that which you would not do if you were normal.
 I walked out of a human trafficking awareness event last week and my heart was so full in knowing that THIS is what my soul was destined for. It didn’t matter that I am seen as weird by the majority of my small town. It didn’t matter that people five years younger than me have more experience with romance than I do. I was a part of something bigger than me, than boys, than small towns, than popularity, than whatever else distracts me.
 And while part of me still wants to show my school that I could indeed get a good looking date to a school dance, there’s much bigger things out there. Things that require being different. Things that are worth it all. And I fully intend to pursue them; living up to what I was told as a child, not to what I’ve felt in high school.