Stand Out and Be Extraordinary

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It’s funny how growing up, one of the basic needs of a teenage soul is to fit in and belong. Whether it is a certain clique or a gang, this need is so strong, some people do the strangest things just to be accepted by the in-crowd. From tying bandanas around their heads to wearing baggy pants sagging so low they might as well have been used as shackles and the spikes that give them the Sonic-The Hedgehog look. Maybe this is done out of self-preservation more than anything as being accepted would mean that others will not bully you and even if they do you’d have your own clique to protect you.

But then lately, I’ve been thinking if we ever grow out of that. Maybe it’s just the cliques that get redefined with age. Instead of rebelling against ‘society’, society becomes the new clique whose approval and acceptance we seek. I remember a high school teacher who used to say, “Everyone of you has a gold mine inside of you.”

But instead of working hard to discover the gold mine in terms of our unique gifts and talents, we tend to wear fake accessories given by others just so that people will not talk ill of us, or talk ill to us. Just so that people will put on their fake smiles and pretend to approve of us. The irony is that by us being ingenuine to ourselves we attract others to be ingenuine to us, yet can we really blame them now can we?

A friend of mine once posted; “I surprised myself today… Surprised myself by what I said and how I carried myself… A persona for the public that sounded so confident, and I almost believe I’ve found myself, that I know who I am… That I see what people see… But in an instant I fade, just like the cradled moon behind the opaque clouds like a chalk smudge on black card stock, I’m fuzzy about who I am and who I want to be… Maybe it’s my destiny to live life discovering all the way…”

So it makes me think , it’s okay to still be figuring it out. It’s an ongoing process, where we trip and stand up, where we take one step forward, two steps backwards, three steps to the side….As long as we expand our minds everyday, and keep on learning, keep on striving, keep on growing. It is much better than avoiding the pain of growth or numbing it out just so we would get the “Approval” stamp.

stand out

In response to WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

8 thoughts on “Stand Out and Be Extraordinary

    Nasreen said:
    February 4, 2013 at 8:45 am

    its funny i’ve been struggling with the same thoughts the last few days.. actually fed up of people wanting me to conform to their perceptions of who i am and what i should be… of course they all do it out of love and what they think is best for me.. and wanting the best for me.. but it just pushes me further into my own little world where there is no one who will ever understand me.. I lost my mum Allah yerhamha about 5 years ago now.. and she was the only one who accepted me as I am and appreciated me for who I am and loved me the way I am and I miss her having around.. I miss her soo much! Thank you for the post and reminding me that it is ok to be different and unique and not conforming or faking it cos even if I wanted to, I JUST CAN’T!! not in my nature! I’m gonna be 38 this year and still figuring out who I am and what I want to be.. and Allah knows what I strive for although I might be taking a million steps backwards at times.. it’s ok.. Allah knows whats in my heart and what my intentions are.. I am not sure this is a comment or me talking out loud to myself on your blog.. Thank you Amina for the notes that many a time remind me that I am not alone..

      AH responded:
      February 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Thanks for your touching comment. Allah yerham ur mom & yeskenha aljanna. True that mothers accept us as we are unlike society that tries to mold us

    supriya said:
    February 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Great post dear. In life we all struggle with this thing. Its seem we have a battle inside us one say be who you are & other say no be as people and the world like you to be.
    And I am totally agree with your teacher we all have a gold mine inside us we just need to remove the unwanted dust that hide the gold.

      AH responded:
      February 5, 2013 at 6:03 am

      Thanks for your comment.

    reem hobeldin said:
    February 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Haha! You used it :) I promise to write an article… Next month… Things’ll be less hectic because a big deadline at work will have been done, and also a bunch of stuff at the Masjid that im a part of will be more underway.

    Keep badgering me until i do write! I want to! I promise :)

    Thanks for everything Amina :) JazakiAllah.

      AH responded:
      February 5, 2013 at 6:03 am

      @reem hobeldin, I’m still waiting my friend, still waiting.

    mightwar said:
    February 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I guess people try to fit in because it is the path of least resistance – but sometimes don’t realise the amount of effort that it takes to do so. If we try harder to accept out similarities and differences, we get better at celebration all of us.

      AH responded:
      February 6, 2013 at 5:50 am

      True about that. Remember the lion walks alone

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