Be brave, black sheep.
I’ve spent most of my life as the black sheep and though I own my black coat 100% of the time, it doesn’t mean its easy. I often feel misunderstood, not relatable, alone, and frustrated when people are not open-minded enough to embrace who I am or even try to understand me. We all don’t have to be alike and the world would be such a better place if we embraced what made us all different instead of allowing our differences to set us apart. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way. As a child all the way into adulthood, being the black sheep never ends. I am 27 years old and I still feel like a fish out of water no matter where I go.
It is no surprise…The world is backwards. You grow up having people tell you who you should be, how you should think, and what you should do with your life. Your teachers run through the same old curriculum of bullshit and the only way you get to learn philosophy is when you are in college. You would think being human is simply fundamental, something that happens naturally, but no…Some people have to be taught. Many people have to be taught. Little boys should be taught that it’s ok to cry so they don’t grow up to be stone cold foxes with no emotions and little girls should be taught that they are strong enough to do whatever a boy can. We are all a product of our environment. My mother embraced my individuality, never forcing me to like dolls, and never told me I couldn’t wear my leather jacket and combat boots with my dresses. She bought me all the video games I wanted and let me dress how I wanted and its a huge reason why I am who I am today. Some people have to be told “don’t follow these age-old rules and go follow your heart. Find what you are passionate about, and do it as much as possible.” My mother taught me that. My teachers didn’t. Dissecting a frog will not teach a child compassion and learning chemistry won’t teach a child how to love. But I knew how to love and I knew what compassion meant because I faced adversity and saw how it made me feel.
Seeing the younger generations of children today makes me realize I was a strong kid. I knew conforming would not make me happy. The more I was bullied for being different, the more I wanted to be myself. Most children fall under pressure. How could I not become compassionate for those just like me, who felt different, who felt alone, and always misunderstood? I knew early on in life that I would have to learn to love myself because often I felt unloved. I knew it was the only way I would survive oppression without the depression. You’ve gotta be real special if someone is telling you that you aren’t. I know I have a light that threatens, sometimes offends people, but that’s not my problem..and if you shine and someone is trying to dim your light, it’s not your problem either. Only insecure people have a problem with other people’s success and only they compare themselves to others.
You think that children don’t know what insecurity means until they get older, but you are wrong. Kids are bullied every single day for trying to be themselves. Some are forced into uncomfortable situations of conformity to feel safe. Some are forced to fight other kids and to be a part of groups/gangs that bully others. It is the only way they feel protected. Now, let that resonate. I never saw the appeal of strength by numbers. I like to think I just reached a severe point of carelessness so much so that I wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything because of all the mental abuse I endured and had to fight every day. Some people never get tired..Sometimes you have to in order to be brave and not take anyones shit. I learned that hating myself wasn’t going to make my life better, but loving myself would. So I did just that. In stages..and I still work at it every day.
See..Little girls are taught to love themselves and when they do they are taught that they can’t love themselves too much. Why weren’t we taught that our voice is valuable? Why weren’t we taught that we don’t have to conform to the high standards of fashion magazines? Why weren’t we taught that our role life was to be somebody instead of being with somebody? Why weren’t we taught that gender roles are not something we have to agree on? Most importantly, why weren’t we taught to love ourselves, flaws and all? Every single time I open a compact mirror someone is watching side-eyeing me. Apparently, I am not allowed to love myself enough to make sure I don’t have lipstick on my teeth which raises another question..What is loving yourself too much? Why can’t my love for myself be infinite without someone judging me as someone who is conceited or thinks they are better than everyone? I bet any money that If my facebook status said “I love myself” I’d get a handful of snarky responses. I’d be a rich woman. My motto is, if you love yourself without putting others down, then I support it 100%. This is why I go through life helping those who haven’t had someone tell them this yet. Everyone feels misunderstood, we all have a black sheep somewhere within us, but you have got to own your coat no matter what forces are against you. Only stupid people make assumptions based on little-to-no effort of even getting to know you so open that mirror, take your middle finger, and apply your lip balm.
For the loners out there. You are not alone in your struggles. I know what its like to feel alone in a crowded room..all too well. However, you have to open up to be happy. Hiding, hands wrapped around your knees within your four walls will not help you achieve anything in life. If anything, it will hinder or postpone the many gifts life gives you when you have an open mind and an open heart. To be vulnerable is to be brave and to be yourself in a world where people are trying to make you conform is the greatest achievement in life. Remember that when you decide to hide your attributes. Remember that when you feel alone in a crowded room. Sometimes when I go out to clubs/bars, I feel alone. So I deal with it by dancing, even if I am dancing alone in my own little corner. It is the only way I can be happy when I find myself uncomfortable in a crowded room at some party. I go out a lot so most would say I am an extrovert but I often have to force myself to be social.
I’ve noticed that confidence is something not everyone has, a lot people I know are hiding everything that makes them special. They would rather blend in than stand out. Hey, you do whatever makes you comfortable, but do it for all of the right reasons. Don’t be modest just so you don’t offend people. You are allowed to think you look beautiful today. You are allowed to wear that dress collecting dust in your closet for any occasion not just a special one. You are allowed to like music everyone else hates, you are allowed to like the 80s even if your friends all love the 50s. You have got to own your individuality.
I thought feeling different is something I would eventually grow out of. I was wrong..You never grow out of it. You never stop being different and people still don’t understand you. So..Sorry to break it to you but, you have got a lifelong commitment ahead of you and who better to be committed to than you? I know that sometimes its extremely frustrating when you are misjudged or misunderstood. Trust me, I understand all too well. But there is nothing worse than watching someone try there hardest to fit in. You should never ever have to feel pressured to be a part of something. If the people you like can’t accept who you are than you need to find another group of people to roll with. Like Kanye West said, “when you try hard, you die hard.” Plus, most people notice when you are trying hard to fit-in anyway, and it lowers your value and self-worth. Don’t do it. Either they can accept you or piss off. Friends or lovers.
Being different is even more frustrating in the realm of romance. I find it very difficult to be attracted to someone because I find it hard to relate to many people or feel they won’t be able to relate to me. Don’t get me wrong, I embrace & accept all kinds of people but it doesn’t mean I am attracted to them. So, often I try to meet people with the same interests which is really difficult. I try to meet people who are educated and open-minded of culture. I haven’t had any luck but I’m still a work-in-progress. I often meet guys who are fascinated by our differences but are too afraid to commit because I am very independent and outspoken. I am also a public figure which can also scare someone who isn’t familiar with having all eyes on them. But hey, Common did say “Some people recognize the light but can’t handle the glare.” I just have to meet someone who matches my confidence and doesn’t fear it. I have hope that I will meet someone one day who will love and accept who I am and be brave enough to claim me but until then, I am happy to give my attention to other areas of my life that are just as important, like my career. With that said, understand, as the black sheep, you won’t always have luck with romance. You either have people who are fascinated by you or people who are afraid of you, or both lol. I still stand by being myself. It’s a struggle but I believe so fiercely in being my own individual. I can’t tell you why, but staying true to myself has gotten me very far in life. It has brought me to the right people, places, and opportunities. I have a huge fan base of people who love and support who I am and it is a GIFT to INSPIRE just by BEING.
You don’t need acceptance..not from that guy you like who may or may not see how special you are and you certainly don’t need to be accepted by your peers. The right people will love and embrace you. I had to find my people. I had to move to a place where I am welcomed with open arms. Took me 27 years to get here and though I still face the troubles of being different, I am a lot better off here than I ever was. You have to go out there, travel if home doesn’t feel like home, go where the things you love are all around you. If you like beaches, move to an island. If you like the cold, move to Alaska. If you love the rockabilly scene, vintage homes, and great nightlife, move to Nevada lol. This also applies to career choices. If you want to live in a tree house in the jungle with no corporate job or college, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Some of us aren’t meant to lick envelopes, live in big houses with white picket fences, or become nurses and teachers. Some of us were meant to run free with wild horses. It only sounds crazy if you were programmed to think that you must live to work the rest of your life and not live to LIVE.
The conventional life just wasn’t for me and that’s ok. Most people get offended when I say that, and I want you to question WHY you feel offended by my CHOICE to avoid the everyday routine of a boring job I hate just so I can make just enough money to pay my rent. I won’t apologize for that. I don’t think I am better than anyone, I just decided to challenge the system, the curriculum, the old age teachings of bad teachers who wanted us all to color within the lines. I am allergic to conformity, I understand the importance of life and that we must all live each day doing what makes us HAPPY because we could be gone tomorrow.
And you know what’s the biggest perk of being the black sheep? You believe you are so different, you can’t even compare yourself to others. Can you imagine the stress I avoid by not even comparing myself to other women? Its absolute mental freedom. So many women spend too much time, comparing themselves to others that they are never satisfied with themselves and forget what truly sets them apart.. How could I ever be jealous of someone who doesn’t have the same heart, intellect, and artistic expression? How could I ever compare my crooked teeth to her pearly whites if my personality shines? You have got to own your differences and embrace your blueprint because no one was designed like you.
Now this is post not for people who “TRY” to be different. You shouldn’t try to be anything but yourself. I cannot tell you how annoying it is when I attend fashion week and I see people trying REALLY hard to be outrageous. Glueing shoes to headbands, wearing lobster hats, crazy and outrageous outfits just for the sake of getting their picture taken. I’m sorry but I can’t give you credit for that. BE AUTHENTIC. Don’t stand out for the sake of standing out. Being yourself is enough. Being outrageous for the thirst of attention will only make you look like a fool to people who can see right through it. You can stand out just by being yourself. “You” are enough.
My point of this post was to show you loners, misfits, and black sheep that you are not alone in your fight to continue being yourselves. It is a war I have to fight every day even with my following and all I have accomplished. I still often feel like the loner, the misfit, and the black sheep but I have learned to accept it and embrace it. It’s the law of attraction, the more you love what makes you different, the more people love that too. Being different and being confident shows great strength and bravery. When you conform, you wave the white flag, you destroy everything that makes you special. My advice to you is to keep shinning even if most people can’t handle it. It is not your job to make them feel comfortable with other people shining bright, that’s their job. If you’re a guy who likes drag, wear it proudly, if you are a woman who loves to dress up all the time, the world is your runway. Don’t live up to anyone’s standards or water yourself down for anyone and watch as you are rewarded by having the right people gravitate towards you. These are the people who will understand you, share the same interests as you, and will embrace and love you for who you are. Whatever moves you, inspires you, or makes you happy, keep doing that. You have one life to live, and it’s yours to cherish.