From the time that I was very young, I knew that I was different. I accept that now, (and even like it most days) but back then, difference was an inconvenience. Different meant that I didn’t have many friends. Different meant that I was sometimes teased and bullied. Different meant that I spent way too much time wondering what was wrong with me, when in truth, the only thing that was wrong with me was that I didn’t see that different was a gift. It’s been a gift that has kept on giving.
The realization that I am a child of destiny, here on this planet to accomplish something great, came during the same time that I realized my difference. I didn’t know what the great was when I was a child. In many ways the great is still being worked out, but I am happy and pleased about the great that has already manifested.
My something great is being able to be a CEO, Chief Encouragement Officer. I didn’t just start encouraging people; I’ve done it all of my life. It’s what I know and what comes naturally to me. As a child there was a glimpse of who I was yet to be. Those things that emerged in me and that I began to see unfold, happened around the age of middle school but I stifled them because they didn’t fit neatly into the perceptions of others about me, those people that I loved and who loved me. The acknowledgment of greatness all came about when I was still a relatively normal tween, having a relatively normal experience, before the painful death of my grandmother, before I became a teen mom, before the early failures.
There were so many people trying to tell me who they thought that I was and who they felt I should become. I see this phenomenon all of the time with college students. They come to college and major in something that a parent, family member, friend or adult mentor figure told them that they should become. They don’t take the time to identify a passion and then let it direct them into their purpose. They play it safe and after 22 years of working in higher education, I can say with all assurances that many ends up regretting the choice to allow someone else, even someone they love, select their destiny.
Difference and destiny are both major gifts, endowed upon you by the creator. They are YOUR gifts and that’s important for you to remember. The best piece of encouragement and advice that I can give you is to tell you to follow your dreams and turn them into actions. Live life with minimal regrets and intentionally be the child of destiny that you were designed to be.