Brace yourself for what I’m going to say: the world is filled with haters and people who say and do hurtful and damaging things just to bring you down, throw you off your game, and make you sad, ashamed, or embarrassed about who you are. And while it’s easy to crumble under the weight of such pain, you have to be brave, strong, and remember to live in your truth and be authentically and unapologetically you! Whether you’re bisexual or transgender, Black or Asian, liberal or conservative, an atheist or Jew, there will always be close-minded jerks, bigots, homophobes, racists, sexists, and just plain ol’ idiots. You may not be able to change them or their minds, so why let their words and actions change yours? Never be ashamed of who you are, where you’re from, or the person you wish to be and love.
You may not always feel like it, but you matter. You matter to so many people—don’t second guess that. You have already or will someday make a difference in the world—but that’s hard to do if you’re always trying to be like everyone else. You were born to march to the beat of your very own drum, so don’t let anyone tell you there’s anything wrong with being different. Why fit in when you were born to stand out, right?
There are people whose life’s mission is to make your life miserable—don’t give them the satisfaction. There are people whose life’s goal is to see you fail, who will frame you and defame you—remain undaunted in the fight of life. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Do you want to be the varsity athlete, captain of the debate team, and first seat violinist? Do it! You can do whatever you set your mind to if you believe. Believe. Believe in the beauty of your dreams. Believe in the goodness of your spirit. Believe in the power of your mind, body, and soul. Be(lieve in) YOU and, if you’re not harming yourself or others, live your life and live your truth. Life is already hard enough. Why spend it pretending to be someone you’re not? So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your drum and start marching!