When I was younger I was always bullied at school for being "strange" or "weird" or "different". Even in college—this was the norm.
I used to think there was something wrong with me, and I wanted so desperately to fit in. Like the ugly duckling I felt like an outcast always—sometimes I still do.
Yet, I no longer fear or hate myself. I realized that they were jealous of me. Envious that they couldn't be brave enough to be themselves or have the courage to be anything other than "normal". It no longer hurts me when they tell me I'm weird. I am proud to be me. That is my gift and my power.
I am strong enough to embrace myself for who I am—flaws and all. I no longer fear nor hate myself for being me. After all, that's the only choice afforded me. I don't need to be anyone else or be like anyone else.
I am a special snowflake and I own it.
Because I refuse to be a voiceless cog doing work for a machine I never believed in. I believe in hard-work, dedication, and the power of dreams. Miracles happen every day. I'm going to make mine come true.
Even if I'm not perfect neither is anyone else. I will not be ashamed of being who I am.
There's a beauty in me that only I can give. I give it freely.
Linda M. Crate's poems, short stories, articles, essays, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications). She is also the author of the fantasy novels known as the Magic Series.