If I were normal:
I would have money to spend.
My life would be less stressful.
I would have finished my education.
I’d live close to home.
Clothes would fit.
I’d have an easier time dating.
I wouldn’t have been bullied so much.
My mistakes could go unseen.
I would know where I’m going to live a month, a few months, or a year from now.
I’d see my family all the time.
I wouldn’t have to eat so much.
I wouldn’t have to say “no” to my friends.
I could stay up as late as I want and sleep in.
The scars, callouses, stretch marks, bar marks, folliculitis, messed up hair, chalk in the eyes, achy joints, broken nails, ripped skin, sore muscles, would not exist.
I would be smaller.
I could find cuter shoes and accessories.
I wouldn’t need to wake up at 3 am.
I would have more work experience.
I’ve been embarrassed/gossiped about in public/online
My career was almost ruined
I’ve lost many friends along my way.
But, lo! I was not normal:
I have traveled to Colombia, Greece, Turkey, England, Russia, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, South Korea, and France.
I have been to at least 23 of the United States
I have lived in 5 of them
I have seen the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, walked all the way to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral, swam in the Pacific Ocean/Lake Superior/Mineral Springs/Atlantic Ocean/Mediterranean Sea, Drove through the Rocky Mountains, Driven the Pacific Coast High Way from top to bottom, looked up at the clear sky and looked at the stars in the high desert, watched the fireworks from the lawn of the White House, and so much more.
I have experienced tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, and volcano eruptions.
I know/have a friend in every state and have friends around the world.
I have watched, trained with, or competed against some of the best athletes in the world.
I have witnessed the birth of a child.
I hold records.
I have been considered the Strongest Woman in America and the Western Hemisphere.
I have worn USA emblazoned across my chest.
I have met celebrities.
I have worked with a fashion designer.
I have worked with a stylist.
I have met the President, Vice President, and the First Lady.
I have had photo shoots, and been in the news paper, the local news, and in science programs.
I have inspired many people.
I am so grateful for the amazing things I have been able to do and see and for the people that I have met and have helped me along the way. The journey is not over. Not fitting in, experiencing hardships, making sacrifices, and dealing with pain is all part of the package. The negatives make you appreciate the positives so much more.
If you find yourself having a hard time being “normal” or “fitting in” don’t worry about it. Your life is probably destined for so much greatness and grandeur but, at this point is unimaginable. Stay true to yourself, work hard, and take risks.