A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.17 “Be Different”

Dear daughter,

Nobody wants to be different growing up. I always felt I stood out in some ways, but most of the time I didn’t want to. As a child and preteen, I would try to wear what the popular girls wore. I wanted to do my hair and makeup like them. Thankfully, in high school, I broke away from that a bit, but I was still self-conscious. 

There was a girl back home the same age as me and about the same size — tiny little thing. She was pretty and bubbly and everyone loved her. We were in cheerleading together. 

This girl was different — and even proud of it. She stood out and that seemed to make her even more popular even though no one would dare follow in her footsteps. She listened to old music and dressed however she wanted. Her palms would sweat when she was nervous, and instead of being self-conscious, she found ways to laugh at her flaws and everyone thought it was cute.

She was a very genuine person and I always admired her confidence. I envied her even. 

As an adult, I know I’m different, and for once, I want to be different. When you’re an adult you kind of stop giving a fuck. I feel being unique has helped my career and strengthened my relationships. When you show people your true self, others will follow suit and do the same. Celebrating differences can be a great way to connect.

I know growing up is hard and you feel like everyone is judging you, but I hope you can find the confidence to always be yourself. I know you are unique — one of a kind — and I will always be proud of you. 



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