By: Shannon Gardner, Guest Blogger
When I begin to feel like a tiny dot on life’s map of beautiful madness, I think about the people in my life. I consider how their lives might be different if I ceased to exist, and that always takes me back to a mindset that is often lost in the midst of day-to-day craziness: I matter in the world. I matter because there is not a single soul in the world exactly like me. People are like snowflakes. We each have special qualities that cannot be lost in life’s map of madness.
Society has created infinite expectations for us, and it is natural to believe that we must fulfill them. However, they are impossible to live up to. We should be prettier, work harder, exercise more, have more fun, “live in the moment” more, wake up earlier, relax more, smile more, be sad less…I don’t know how you feel about all these demands, but I feel simply drained by them.
How can I always try to be more or better, and live “in the moment” simultaneously? How can I always be smiling when sometimes I might feel sad?
I think these rules created by society are meant to be broken. And it’s more than okay to break them. To choose to create the life we want for ourselves, I think we need to let go of what is “ordinary” and create our own rules. By setting ourselves free, whether we know it or not, we are inspiring every beautiful soul that crosses paths with us.
The moment we decide to be who we are and do what we want, we have conquered these norms we have been brainwashed to conform to. By deciding to say “no” to society’s limitations, we can begin to write our own messy and inspiring stories—stories that will live on long after we do.
You were created to be beautifully dissimilar from the rest of the world, with your own set of guidelines and your own purpose. Whoever you are, you are very special. I hope that you never lose sight of those qualities that separate you from the rest because someone out there needs a dose of the real you today.
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Shannon is a psychology student at The Ohio State University studying to be a school counselor. An optimist, dreamer and traveler from Upstate New York, she loves leading I Am That Girl Local: Ohio State Chapter and working with young kids. In her free time, Shannon enjoys running, photography and coffee dates!