“When I finally decided uniqueness trumps over uniformity, I had finally found freedom to explore my individual creativity.” -Brittney Marie Kelley
My Instagram account is flooded with seniors who are graduating high school, and for some reason, it’s been heavy on my heart to share this bit of my story with everyone – especially with grads. I hope it can bring some encouragement to you, no matter what season of life you’re in.
Let me be honest right off the bat – you’re gonna do things in life that not everyone agrees with. You’re going to make decisions that will make some people question where you’ll end up in life.
I graduated (by the grace of God – but that’s another story 😛 ) at 18 with my High School diploma & AA degree. Everyone asked me where I was going to college, and my answer was, “I’m not. I’m going to work, save money, and maybe go back later when I know what I want to major in.” Lots of people challenged me, saying that wasn’t a very good idea or I better not stay out of school too long. But some people congratulated me and said that was really smart. After that, I realized I was never going to please everyone with the decisions I made. And this only continued when I met a guy, and 2 years later, I got married (at 20 years old mind you). Almost everyone, including both of our families, questioned if this was the right move for us. Although we were young, we were confident in who we were individually & as a couple, so we got married. Now, not even 2 years later, we’re having a baby. Among the dozens of people who have shared in our excitement, some have expressed they don’t feel like we’re ready or that we’re too young to be having kids. Yeah, we are young, but Aaron & I also know we are going to be great parents.
Yes, I’m 22. No, I don’t have my life completely together, but I also know 60 year olds who don’t have their life together – so what does it matter in the end?
I have not been handed a free ride in this world. I’ve had to work very hard for everything I have – both Aaron and I have had to. And even though it’s been crazy hard at times, I’m thankful. Looking back over the past 4 years, I have no regrets. I’m so glad I didn’t go to college after I graduated. I am so thankful I met a man who loves me unconditionally and wanted me to grow old with him, so he put a ring on my finger. And our love has now made a little human that we get to welcome into the world in a few short months. It’s so evident to me that every decision I have made, whether other people agreed with it or not, has led me to this wonderful life that I get to call mine.
I don’t consider myself better than my peers who are just graduating college and deciding what career they want to pursue. I just got dealt different cards. I am so excited for everyone who chooses to go to college! I hear it’s great and challenges you in multiple ways. But I also can relate to those who choose to pursue something different. And you know what? Both are good! One isn’t better then the other. Just because you go to college, doesn’t mean you’ll be more successful then your friend who didn’t go to college, and visa-versa.
God designed all of us to do a very specific job in this world, and some of us have to walk certain paths to get there.
In a world that is constantly trying to tell what “average” and “normal” is, I pride myself in being unique. Once I got passed pleasing others and realizing there will always be someone who disagrees with me, I found so much freedom in being able to create and embrace my individuality.
My advise to grads ~ don’t make decisions based on what you think people want you to do. Be prayerful and listen to what God wants you to do. If you start something then decide it’s not for you, politely say “no thanks!” and leave. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to do something completely different than your friends. It’s okay to be unique.