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It took me being observant and honest to see I didn’t belong. It tookstudying the aesthetics in photos taken by my friends and knowing somethingwasn’t quite right. It’s a lack of pride you know would be there if you werejust prettier, or sexier. It’s that you simply know that no matter what you do,sans literal plastic surgery, you will never belong to a certain club.

But here is where I throw you a curve ball: my being unattractive hasn’tstopped me from living the other side’s life. Most people never figure out howto navigate this world I live in. I will just tell you I rejected the rules ofthe beautiful, and learned how to make them work for me.

I decided I would shoot out of my league. I made friends and dated people Ishouldn’t be allowed to date. I stepped over the line. I surrounded myself withindividuals who are more educated, prettier or smarter than me, even in the faceof people saying, quite literally, “they are out of your league.”

I may not technically be the smartest or most beautiful person, but I runwith those who are. I become by association, even a touch of such, even at alower rank – beautiful. I buck the system.

To do so, yes, means you may be painfully aware of what you are and willnever be. You will be defined by what you have the nerve to aim at being. Indoing so, you will challenge and question what smart is. You will not begeneric, or predictable. Attractive is only what we define it to be. Don’tpigeonhole yourself so quickly. Live the life you want to live – even if youdidn’t win the genetic lottery.


When I was seven years old, I would put my school book bag on both myshould河南癫痫病专治医院ers and had it sit plumb in the middle of my back, as backpacks were madeto do.

One morning, when it was so frigid outside you could barely muster gettingout of bed, my older brother joined me at the bus stop, and told me I waswearing my backpack wrong. He grabbed it, tossed it over my right shoulder withboth straps on the same side and said, “There, that’s better.”

Then he said, “You’re not pretty, so you have to try harder. OK?”

I stayed smiling because even at a young age, I understood the importanceof pretending to not have emotions. In my household, it was a matter ofsurvival. But what he said crushed me.

Soon thereafter, I started picking up on the signs one receives when theyaren’t attractive. This was made more complicated because I had a lot of friendsand people who, for the most part, liked me. I was good at sports. I had variousmusical talents and up until life completely fell apart at home, I was a goodstudent. I was also a fighter so people didn’t dare make fun of me overtly, atleast before growth spurts kicked in and the playing field was still even.

Mostly, I paid for not being conventionally attractive by being ignored ornot included in “moments” – the many moments attractive people experience.

Many times, I walked into a room with all of my friends and witnessed themreceiving compliments – everyone except me. It’s not that people look at yousay, “My god, you’re incredibly ugly. Tell me, how do you not kill yourself?”It’s how you can stand next to an attractive person and the people around you,even the unattractive ones themselves, will say, “Wow, your friend is pretty.Look at her, have you ever seen a girl so pretty?”


“Joe, did you book your ticket yet?” I asked.

“No. I changed my mind. I’m not going to go.”

“What? You aren’t going to Australia? We’ve been planni民间中医治疗颠痫病ng this vacation formonths!”

“Yeah, I don’t feel like it. We’ll go some other time.”

Over the coming weeks, I attempted to get my friend to reconsider, but tono avail. When Joe changed his mind, he changed his mind. Our trip to Australia– our big post-college adventure – was off. And none of my friends wanted toreplace him. If I wanted to travel, it would have to be on my own.

It’s a pattern that has repeated itself over the years. While a few peoplehave joined me along the way. But when it comes down to the wire, somethingalways comes up, they’re suddenly too busy, or they get cold feet and changetheir mind.

It’s taught me that if I wait for others, I’ll never go anywhere.

But there are places I want to go, people to see, experiences to have, andfood to try — and only so much time to accomplish it all.

So I refuse to wait – I won’t let others keep me from realizing mydreams.

It can bescary traveling alone – especially when you’ve never done itbefore. But, to me, growing old without experiencing everything you want fromlife is scarier.

If you’ve been putting off a trip because you’re waiting for someone to gowith – stop. Just go. Don’t let others hold you back from your dreams. Trust me,along the way you’ll make plenty of friends – from other solo travelers whothought “Screw it, if I don’t go, I’ll never go” to locals interested in meetingnew people. You’re never alone when you travel.

More than that, solo travel gives you ultimate freedom. You wake up andit’s just you – what you want, where you want, when you want. In that freedomand infinite space of possibility, you meet yourself. You hit the limits of whatyou like and don’t like. There’s no one to pull you in any one direction oroverride your reasons. Want sushi? Get sushi. Want to leave? Leave. Want to trybungee jumping? Go for it.

It’s sink or swim an痫性患者要注意什么d you have to learn how to survive – who to trust, howto make friends, how to find your way around alone. That’s the greatest rewardof solo travel – the personal growth. Each time you go away, you learn to becomea little more independent, confident, and in tune with your emotions anddesires.

Solo travel is not for everyone. Some people return home soon afterdeparting, others cry for weeks before embracing it, and some just embrace itright away. But you’ll never learn that if you don’t travel once by yourself.Whether a weekend away, a two-week vacation or trip around the world, try it atleast once.

Don’t wait for people or hold back from living your dreams. You could bewaiting a long time until someone finally says “yes.” There’s only now and ifyou don’t go, you’ll regret it.

Because if I hadn’t stopped waiting, I’d still be in my cubicle, trying toconvince Joe to go to Australia, and wondering if I’d ever get to see theworld.


An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer (contractor)of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely lifewith his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but heneeded to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he couldbuild just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but intime it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted toshoddy workmanship and usedinferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to endhis career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect thehouse, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is yourhouse," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his ownhouse, he would have done it all so differently.济南癫痫病哪个医院看得好 Now he had to live in the homehe had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting ratherthan acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do notgive the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we havecreated and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we hadrealized, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day youhammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only lifeyou will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that daydeserves to be lived graciously and withdignity. The plaque on the wall says,"Life is a do-it-yourself project."

Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of yourattitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of yourattitudes and the choices you make today.


Once upon a time a psychology professor walked around on a stage whileteaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students.

As she raised a glass of water, with a smile on her face, the professorasked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”

Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couplepounds.

She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glassdoesn’t matter. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but thelonger I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

As the class shook their heads in agreement, she continued, “Your stressesand worries in life are very much like this glass of water.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries. Nomatter what happens during the day, as early inthe evening as you can, put allyour burdens down.


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