What I Learned About Being “Different”

 {Today’s post is a bit of a self-rebuttal of my former post “What I Didn’t Know About Being ‘Different'” that I wrote at the beginning of my senior year. This year has been one that has taught me so much and as I prepare to end my time in high school, this post has been one that has been begging to be written.}
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      Before I ever clutched a textbook to my chest and navigated through the endless hall of a high school, they warned me. They warned me that being someone who marched to her own drum would be difficult. No one promised me an easy road. Through all my day dreaming and all my wide eyed optimism, I knew somewhere in the back of my head that I may happen to be the most extroverted loner I’ve ever met. If truth was to be told, I had been warned about high school.
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      High school is its own world. It has its own political system and rhythm that I could just never get in sync with. My feet always were a few steps off. Running ahead in some areas, and dragging my feet kicking and screaming in others. I wanted to think about deep things – like the concept of social change. I didn’t want to date or go to school dances. I wanted to start my own business. I didn’t want to get involved with gossip and drama. I always was just out of stride. I set my own stride. And that wasn’t always easy.
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      But no one really warned me of the joys.
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      No one warned me about how freaking fun it is to be a smart girl. I wear the title of “nerd” proudly as I devour John Green novels and study 18th century feminist literature for fun. Because that stuff is fun for me. Being able to take PSEO classes full time has been a lot of work, but it’s been such an amazing experience. I’ve had some fantastic professors who have challenged me as a person to go deeper and to aim higher. I’ve earned respect from many of my peers. Also, I saved thousands of dollars. No big deal, right?
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      No one warned me about boys. No one told me that despite a few really annoying jerks, I’d be able to look back on high school and realize I have had a very healthy and fun relationship with the opposite sex as a whole. I have been respected by many guys. That is something many girls cannot say and I consider to be a huge blessing. The guys that have been interested in me romantically have been few, but they have been good. Not necessarily a match for a relationship, but I am honored to have had them notice me. No one really told me that I could handle myself in a mutual attraction in a way that was healthy, honest, and without heartbreak even as a teenager. Really, they sort of told me that any glimmer of romance was doomed for a broken heart. Which really doesn’t have to be the case, even if it ends.
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      No one told me that my attitude of, “I’m gonna change this ol’ world!” was one that would serve me well. Through this attitude and passion, I’ve met amazing people and been given some really cool opportunities. This attitude is the one that landed me several future job leads. It’s been integrated into my business and helped me to gain clients. It’s hard. Definitely. But there’s something about being a mover and a shaker that is so rewarding. To be a part of something bigger than yourself is extraordinary.
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      And yes, there were times where I really didn’t want to be different. 
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      There were times when I yelled, “SCREW THIS!” into the universe, half expecting some cosmic event to respond back to my pouting. There were times where I just really wanted to fit in and feel like I was a citizen in the realm of high school. There were times where I was just tired. Those times are not over. There will still be bad days, tired days, and “it is really hard to not just step into stride with everyone else” days.
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      But deep down – I know that being normal would never have satisfied me. No amount of makeup or hot dates or being invited to the parties would have ever truly stirred my soul.
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      Why? Because high school is not what I was created for. This heart was not created to be satisfied with mundane or with status-quo. This heart was not created to be content with average or with pettiness. It’s not who I am.
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      I was created to have a soul that is easily stirred. I was created to be excited. I was created to make a ridiculous adventure out of the everyday mundane. I was created to be passionate about helping people and being a part of things so much bigger than me. I was created to glorify my Creator. That is who I am. The box of high school was never big enough to hold that in.
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      Now as I approach the end of my high school career; as I start counting up all the lasts and all the firsts, I am so thankful that I didn’t confine myself to that which I was not made for. Being different was worth it. 

The Time for Rain Boots

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 I need to buy new rain boots and put on my holiest jeans and just go stomping. Stomping through puddles. Jumping in them. Just letting myself be free. Be free to be a kid for a little bit longer. Be free to spend my time however I please without taking note of that hum of my cell phone. Be free to just let go. Let go of any inhibitions and worries and let go of the future. To take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Jump. Get cold. Giggle at the great fun that it is to slosh around in April slush puddles.
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 It’s time for freedom. It’s time to put on red lipstick for no good reason. It’s time to drive twenty miles to indulge in my favourite coffee concoction. It’s time to finally getting around to taking those kids I used to babysit out for ice cream. It’s time to take the back roads home. It’s time to invest not in the long distance future, but to invest in the here and now. Always striving for the future will mean that I’ll never enjoy the future when it arrives.
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 Now is not the time for worries. Now is not the time to procrastinate any longer on things so easily done. Now is not the time for 140 character or less. Now is not the time for clutter or noise. Now is not a time to hold on to too tightly or one to throw away. Now is not the time, darling. Not now. Not when there is such brilliance is sitting on the doorstep. It’s there. It’s a package tied up in string like it time traveled from the 1940s and was sung about in that classic list of “favourite things.” It doesn’t look new. It’s simple. It’s old. But it’s brilliant. So pick that sucker up and move it to the dining room table. Grab that scissors from the pantry shelf and open that package sloppily if need be, but just be sure to open it.
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 Now is the time to dig deep. To spread those glorious wings not in order to go far, but in order to go high. Further up and further in. Depth. Constant searching for significance. To explore your life and pick apart the pieces of it that just don’t make sense yet. To write your heart through your finger tips and to share without fear. To work harder in the final stretch. To create that which you are proud of. To take time for quiet. To hold hands with the people who will soon be going on a different path in the scheme of life.
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 Do not seek to answer questions.
 Ask them. Ask hard questions. Ask questions with no answers. Ask silly questions and no-brainers that may have a bit more to them.
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 Do not be afraid of silence. Of the hollows of your heart. Or your unspoken desires and all those little chirpings that you try your best to drown out with loud radio and busy schedules. They are in there to guide you. To show you who you are beneath the pomp and beneath the ruckus.
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 So take your time. Take your freedom. And buy a new pair of feminine rain boots just to coat them in mud.