You’re Allowed To Be Different


You’re allowed to step outside of your box. You’re allowed to not fit in with your culture, your society or your parents. You’re allowed to march to the beat of your own drum even if it’s just ‘noise’ to other people and you’re allowed to believe in the path you’re taking, to believe in yourself and believe in your voice, in your gut and in your heart.

You’re allowed to want a different career than the ‘safe’ ones. You’re allowed to follow your passion even if it’s not what you went to school for or what your parents wanted for you. You’re allowed to dream without people making fun of your dreams. You’re allowed to live a life that excites you without feeling sorry for it.

See, we’ve been taught to follow rules, to fit in, to work jobs we hate so we can find something to complain about over drinks. We’ve been told that we should always take the easy road, to play it safe, to do what’s guaranteed, to get a degree, pay our bills on time and have our own family but some people just don’t find themselves on that road. Some people get really lost on that road. Some people would rather die than go down that road.

Some people are just not cut out for 9 to 5, for rules, for things that don’t make sense, for activities that don’t mean much to them. Some people just want to create things, they want to do things that mean something to someone, that touch someone’s life and things that make them want to wake up every morning and want to be a better person.

Some people just want to live genuinely, do work they absolutely adore and be able to be themselves without being punished for it. Some people just don’t know how to wear two different masks. They don’t know how to be someone in the morning and someone else at night. They only know how to be themselves — they only know how to be real.

You’re allowed to be true to yourself. You’re allowed to be real. You’re allowed to be honest. You’re allowed to be everything that people tell you not to be because this is the only way you can live and the only way you can shine.

You’re allowed to keep loving the same person or love different people, you’re allowed to want the ones who move your heart even if they don’t check everyone’s list and you’re allowed to feel. You’re allowed to follow your heart even if it breaks.

Because people like you don’t really know how to operate with their minds only, they don’t always know how to do the ‘right’ thing and they don’t always think too much ahead.

People like you only know how to follow what makes them smile, what inspires them, what triggers their curiosity and what triggers their excitement. People like you don’t know how to fit in, they take the road less traveled even if it means they’ll be traveling alone.

You’re allowed to take the road less traveled. You’re allowed to keep traveling until you find your home. You’re allowed to keep searching for what sets your soul on fire even if people warn you that it might burn you.

You’re allowed to be different. You’re allowed not to settle for the same.  

Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.