This blog is for two different kinds of people.
I believe in you. I believe that there is something inimitably special about you; that once you find the right time, place, support and muse, you will create paintings or poems or performances or yes, even PowerPoints that move your audience profoundly; that not only will your creations change your little corner of the world, but that if you have the courage necessary to ask for it, your work will receive the value it deserves.
Some people, maybe a lot of people truthfully, will take a look at what you bring to the table and smile politely as they shift their gaze to the other, sparklier (in their estimation) creations that better capture their particular fancy. Not going to lie, that sucks.
But it also doesn’t mean that the snowflakeness that is you isn’t beautiful or worthy. Maybe your creation needs a little more refinement before it’s ready for prime-time. Maybe you caught your audience at the wrong time of day and they had low blood sugar. Maybe your creation is awesome but its awesomeness doesn’t fit into the hole your audience’s needs needed filling. Maybe they’re idiots and wouldn’t know a good snowflake if it knocked on their door with a tuna-noodle hot dish and offered to shovel their sidewalk after a blizzard.
Who can say? In fact, in most cases, it isn’t even worth your time to even hazard a guess. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, watch a few inspirational videos (try this one) on Youtube and continue the journey. You’ll find your place and when you do, the world will be changed for the better because of it.
Sticking out also sucks. When you say and do the things that come naturally to you and those things push you out of step with the particular work team, business culture, networking group or marching band to which you have your heart set on belonging, it can be devastating; real talk. I know that when it’s happened to me, I was heartbroken. I questioned my worth as I watched whole flocks of truly fantastic people zig , while, I unfortunately, seemed genetically engineered to zag. I was convinced that I was simply made wrong and that someday some factory manufacturer overlord would realize how badly I was faking it and have me recalled.
But here’s the deal. That ugly duckling/swan trope? Totally a thing. It’s entirely possible, nay, I say likely that the very qualities that make you stick out like sore thumb in one situation, will make you shine like a diamond on black velvet in another setting. Dig in your feet. Hold onto what makes you, you. Don’t you dare try to hide the exquisite lace designs that cover your soul under a pair of pleated khakis just because you want to pass in the crowd; I’ll give you hell if you do. Because while you can certainly use up all of your talent, energy and heart in order to pass with a C in one kind of class, you could also be valedictorian of another if you have the courage to look for it.
To people who hold both pro and anti-sentiments when it comes to their snowflakeness, I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. And the t-shirt I bought now has so many holes in it, I use it to polish my shoes. All I can tell you is this: no matter how much you fear the consequences or dream of the perks, you’re just going to have to accept that you are in fact a very special, breathtakingly beautiful, completely inimitable snowflake, a snowflake just like everybody else.