February 2, 2016

What I’ve Learned from Being a Nobody.

girl, smile, sweet,

Please don’t be offended. I beg you to continue reading with an open heart and mind to what I’m about to say.

You’re not special.

There. I said it. The secret is out!

I’m not trying to discourage anyone—actually quite the opposite really. I want to encourage people to take a good look at themselves and realize they may not be “special.”

I’m only 17 and I’ve encountered many people in my life who all have the same persona about them. And I came to realize one day that I am a Nobody.

I don’t mean that in a desperate, depressed way. I mean it in a matter of fact, down to earth way.

I am nobody. As a person, I am insignificant.

I’m a student who likes gelato too much, enjoys hiking, shows up to work when I must and hangs out with friends when I have time. I’m a spec on the earth and haven’t made a large contribution to the world yet. I haven’t put my whole heart into anything at this point in my life. And I haven’t loved anyone or anything with a ferocious passion.

However, I’m open to the fact that I’m not alone, because none of us are special…at least not yet.

I think a lot of us grow up with this whimsical idea that we are special because someone in our life—parents, friends, significant others—tells us so. But sometimes, they’re wrong.

Special, by definition, is being better, greater or otherwise different from the usual.

In my opinion, being special has nothing to do with being charismatic, smart or even beautiful. No, special in my book is being the type of person who can connect with anyone and takes time to notice the finer things in life—I don’t mean chai lattes or the plethora of movies on Netflix.

Someone who appreciates the way the sun rises and sets, the innocent beauty of the little girl at the grocery store and the way we all have slightly different shades of eye color.

Someone who is a thinker. Maybe they’ve pondered over and thought in depth about everything from politics to religion, relationships to economics, language to colors to light to shower curtains.

When I finally stumble across someone special, maybe they’ll come across as eccentric—singing to themselves, smiling for no reason, engaging a stranger in heart-to-heart conversation. To be honest, if I stumble across someone I view as special, they probably won’t give a second thought to what others think about them. “You do you,” might even be their mantra.

Maybe they’ll give their all to someone or something they’re passionate about and won’t let any roadblock stop them from reaching their goals. They’ll be kind—and not that phony “kind” you summon up when you’re on the phone with a distant relative or posting on the internet for all your friends to praise you.

I believe a special person isn’t just born. They create themselves over time. They are genuine and not living for the approval of others or in the hype of what’s popular at the time.

How many people have you met in life that have that je ne sais quoi about them?

Probably not a lot, and if by chance you do know someone like that, consider yourself fortunate. I haven’t found someone genuinely special or maybe I haven’t gotten to know people well enough to see that.

But I’m not discouraged, because even if we don’t fit the description of what’s special, we are all unique.

We are all one of a kind in our own way, whether that be in our looks, our laugh, the way we take our tea, the complex way we dissect a problem or even a single freckle. No one else can be us or will be us again—and that is something to take pride in.

I’m not special. And maybe you aren’t either. But I hope to be one day.

So I’m putting my faith in this crazy thing called life, that I will live and learn and have experiences that enlighten me to become a special person.

And if that fails, at least I’ll always be unique.


Author: Maya Bingaman

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Image: Unsplash




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