For many years, trying to conform to “normal” for the people around me stifled my soul. I couldn’t make the testers on the potential job categories happy. I didn’t fit in with my peers because well, I think it had to do with my poverty background. Hand-me-downs were the outfits given me. I was never in style. I started to reach that point more-and-more before the end of high school as I worked and began to buy my own clothes and such. Still, I could never really compete with the beautiful people around me. I was shy and awkward and that didn’t help either. Everything I did was wrong. I kept hoping that those teen movies from the eighties were right and one day, I’d magically fit in.
If you’re different, celebrate! Don’t try to be another of the crowd. It won’t get you anywhere. People who try and box you in just don’t get who you are. You don’t have to match others, be yourself. If I’d spent less time rebelling against the labels people tried to peg me with, I’d have been happier in life. Instead of making myself happy, I tried to please others. And yeah, that can be good at some things but not everything. We shouldn’t all get snagged by the job description that testers want to put us in. Artists don’t work that way. We’re different for a reason.
The reasons being: how else do you create but to expand outside yourself? To bring some of the world in. It’s like having our own blackhole to snag things together and then blast out on canvas. What’s there just ends up there, well, because. It was inside you, waiting for the right moment to please your palette. It’s like putting your fingers to the keyboard. You don’t know what you’re going to say. What the story will be there. But it’s there, waiting below the surface. Writing in itself, I think, like drawing or painting or some of many other arts, is a bit of magic. It just wells to the surface when it’s ready. That’s how we work.
Taking for granted that what we need will be there when we reach for it. That what we see in our mind’s eye will come to life on the page. It’s a bit of a magician’s bags of tricks. We make something from nothing. And it’s a joy to do so. There shouldn’t be a stigmatism on us that we’re not great with numbers or this or that that will bring us success at such illustrious careers picked out from us from some test. We’re meant to search the skies, to roam the Earth in search of that hidden meaning to us. To educate. To inspire. To open the eyes. Did any of these people that run the tests think that maybe we’re wired different just for that purpose?
Who says we all have to belong? Who says we all have to work in cubicles? Or mechanic shops? Or landscaping? Not that there’s anything wrong with those kinds of jobs. Creating is just different as we are. Every item on a menu at a restaurant does not appeal to all of us. Some like shrimp. Some steak. And some vegetables. No one choice is right. We explore differences because they’re good. They don’t make something wrong with us. They embellish the artist is us.They open a part to our soul, to releasing the stories, the genius onto canvas.
Being different doesn’t just apply to art, however. It’s what makes each of us up. Some of us are short. Some tall. Some thin, some heavier. That’s okay. Just like someone’s identity can vary in shades. We can go a lot of ways in life but picking up that brush, tapping those keys on the piano, singing that first note in a song you wrote, that’s all passion. It’s something inside us that works it way out. Some people fight against it. They try to do other things. But something draws them back to what they love time and again.
That’s not to say we’re “forced” to do our art. We’re most sincerely not. It’s just a part of us that defines our character in a way. I had no idea I wanted to go into writing. Even though I wrote constantly, I didn’t realize it was something I could do for a career. Now, I know it’s a part of me. I wouldn’t wish it away if I could. Life would be boring indeed. There’s something about creating characters, putting them there on paper, that lends satisfaction to the soul. It’s almost like breathing for an artist. A necessary tool. And thank God for each of our creative people. Without Bach, Shakespeare, and Tolkien where would we be?
I wish we could all be at peace with who we are. With others. Unfortunately, there are those negative few out there determined to make other’s lives miserable. Most of the time, we simply have to ignore them. Look beyond them. See the sunrise. It’s never the same day after day. Nor is the sunrise. We don’t often delve into the differences from day-to-day around us. It can be as simple as having deer on the landscape. A fox in the distance. Nature is more forgiving sometimes than some of us. I don’t say that as someone who’s above judging others. I know I’ve done so, and it hurts me to think that I didn’t give other’s their worth.
Each of us has meaning. Each of us has value. Never doubt that. The differences between us can actually bring us together. We can admire that drawing, those lyrics, that book you picked up at the bookstore. It can bring us to understand something inside each of us better. We love entertainment but not always the entertainer. We can be callous and cruel. For the most part, we have to push ourselves to accept other’s differences. But once we do, once we get back whatever holds us back from embracing that other, we can find gold in who they are. Be kind to one another. Show grace in tough situations. We can arise above our humanity and reach out with hope to one another.