I know it feels difficult. I know that much of you simply wants to blend in and be like everyone else. I know that it often feels easier to mask your true self, hide your abilities, or live a pretend life. But, for the sake of your own well-being and the well-being of our world, please don’t.
For whatever reason, be it genetics, fate, divine creation, the fact that Jupiter lined up with Mars and you were born in the 22nd minute of the 22nd hour of the 3rd Tuesday after leap year, you were born different. You were born with intense abilities. You were born with intense challenges. You were born atypical. And, yes, there’s a part of our psyches that want us to be typical and want us to fit in. So, we are tempted to listen to that part of us and deny our full selves. Please don’t.
I know that you see other people struggle to memorize their lines for a play. I know that you had them memorized after you read them over twice. I know that you pretended to read them off the script and not have them memorized because you didn’t want to draw attention to yourself. Please don’t.
I know that you hide your crazy intact memory whenever a group of people is trying to recall a fact or a situation. I know that you know what happened in detail, but you pretend to struggle alongside everyone else. I know that you calculate just how long you can pretend not to know before the conversation begins to drive you insane and then you calculate how you can feign a slight and sudden recollection which will trigger others to remember, too. Please don’t.
I know that you pretend school work is more difficult than it is. Please don’t.
I know that you hide your interests in “nerdy” subjects to fit in with non-nerdy friends. Please don’t.
I know that you hide your interests in sports to fit in with non-sporty friends. Please don’t.
I know that you’d rather hide your true ability and stay comfortable than make your ability known and be challenged to grow beyond it. Please don’t.
Please don’t be anyone other than yourself.
Please don’t hide anymore.
It is scary. It is risky. It is vulnerable to be fully yourself, especially when that self is different from the norm.
But, trust me. The fear will diminish. The risk will feel manageable. The sense of well-being when you embrace yourself in all your uniqueness far surpasses those temporary discomforts. To continue to hide and pretend only grows and lengthens your suffering. So, please don’t.
For whatever reason, you are you. You are the only person who is exactly like you. You are not meant to be anyone else. You are meant to be quirky and sensitive and intense and thoughtful and infuriatingly talkative. You are meant to be squiggly and questioning and deep. You are meant to be different. Our world needs you to be you. Our world needs you to be eccentric and odd and to utilize your fly-paper mind that just can’t let go of any morsel of information.
If you hear or feel pressure about that. If you are hearing me say that the world is depending on you and your gifts. Please don’t.
The world depends on you no more or less than anyone else. We are all different. We are all unique. We all have our own stuff to offer to this world. The world depends on each of us to simply be us. And if that means that you’ll always be the person in the room who remembers what was discussed at the last meeting, or you’ll always be the person in the room that has their lines memorized during the first rehearsal, then so be it. Be you. Please.