I used to feel different all the time. I very clearly remember that it started in grade six. Before that I'd always been part of the group (my elementary school was very small; there were only seven girls in my class), but that year everyone else started to care about clothes and make-up and boys. I was a year behind on boys, and about nine years late on the clothes and make-up (if you're thinking that brings us to about last year, you'd be thinking right).
I was picked on a lot in junior high for differences that it was difficult to put a finger. In high school, I learned to embrace my differences and had amazing friends who were also different from others -but just like me.
My years at university have taught me that no one is really different. I've learned to challenge my assumptions about people and see the things that connect all of us. Now I see that we're all just looking for our place in the world; trying to find happiness and figure out who we are and where we belong. We might express it in slightly different ways, but deep down, we're all the same.
There is not a single quality I have that you couldn't find just as good or better in someone else. That goes for everyone. We just have different combinations of these qualities. There is nothing about me that I can cite as being the one special thing that makes me different from everyone else.
We're all the same. We're all beautiful. I find that there can be a lot of pressure to be different and unique in order to express yourself. No one ever tells us that it's okay to be the same. I'm not saying we should conform to every standard society sets. It's just that sometimes I feel like striving to be different prevents me from being myself. In a lot of the ways, I'm exactly like everyone else. Why shouldn't I be allowed to embrace that?
There's nothing specific I do that lights people up. Sometimes I'll smile at strangers I pass on the street and be rewarded with the most beautiful smiles in return. Sometimes it's some small chore or errand I do that has my roommate proclaim that I'm "her favourite" (her "favourite" changes frequently). Sometimes it's because I listen well, or because I laugh at the right time, or because I know how to explain something. Little things. Little things that anyone else could do just exactly the same.