“You’re not normal.”
Has anyone ever used those words to hurt you?
My high school experience was basically 3 straight years of this insult being shoveled onto me until I was buried so deep that I could barely see the light. It took me a long time to realize that I should actually be taking those words as a compliment.
Unlike many of my classmates, who could magically conform to whatever absurd fashions were trending at the time, I couldn’t seem to do it—even when I tried. I thought something was wrong with me, and I hated myself for it. Being different meant being a loner, and I thought I would never be successful until I learned how to fit in.
The education system rewards this type of conformity. You succeed in school when you follow the rules to a T and never dare to question authority.
But the real world doesn’t work like that. Especially as machines take over automated tasks and humans are left with the creative work, success awaits those who are able to break the mold and be brazenly different. You can’t change the world unless you’re willing to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t ever try to be normal. Figure out where you’re different, and then cultivate that area. Be proud of it.