I don't even know what to do with you." The thousandth time I heard that I sighed.
Was that supposed to be a compliment? It never felt like one.
The truth is, I have never fit anywhere or into anything in a traditional nor "conventional" way.
Early on in school, I never liked learning like others. I wanted to go out and experience it firsthand and I often taught myself how to achieve results more efficiently. Teachers often got frustrated as I creatively innovated unique ways to get the same end goal.
When college professors became upset that I often missed lectures to work three jobs, I did not understand. I was teaching myself the material between work and earning good grades. It never made sense to me that I had to be in a room to earn a grade when I was out in the world already trying to apply what college was trying to teach me. Wasn't that why I was going to school?
In my career, I have yet to follow a trajectory or a clear path. Nothing is linear about how I got here.
My entire life I have been described as an out-of-the-box thinker, non-conformist, and blazer of new trails.
Over the years, that unrelenting drive to look at things differently and my ability to challenge the status quo has manifested into some amazing opportunities and set me apart in some incredibly positive ways.
Yet that same spirited ambition has also presented challenges and frustration along the way.
I have been put down for being too ambitious, not patient enough, chasing "unrealistic" dreams, and wanting to achieve what others just don't deem possible.
We live in a world where it can be frustrating to feel like we are constantly going against the grain.
But the world desperately needs kids, parents, teachers, and leaders to shake things up, look at things differently, build, create and innovate.
For those of you who have never followed a traditional path - own it!
There are so many people out in the world looking to champion those of us who will never walk in a straight line. Get to know them.
Keep seeing things differently - your inner-child will thank you!
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