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Normal is just a cycle on the washing machine.

This post goes out to any youth player who has ever felt a little odd. Here’s a hint – you are not alone in feeling weird, strange, out-there, peculiar, different, or flat-out not normal. If there is one thing I am certain of it is that nobody has ever felt completely normal because we all have our own idiosyncrasies that make us unique.

When I was in middle school, I was obsessed with being normal. In reality, all I wanted to be was cool. I wanted to hang out with the cool kids, and ditch my geeky/nerdy life. So I spiked up my hair, started playing more basketball, and hanging around the kids that I wanted to emulate. The trouble was, I was never really me when I was with these new friends. In fact, by the time I hit high school I did not like the person I had become. I was so fixated on being liked by everyone that I tried to please everyone around me, except the person that truly counted – me.

So in middle of high school I decided to stop trying to be liked. I was going to go at thing alone because I felt that my peers would never accept me for the goofy person that I really am. I spent roughly three years barely speaking to anyone in high school for fear of rejection and embarrassment. Because of this, lacrosse became my main outlet. I poured myself into the game, but I never really socialized with my fellow players because I always felt that I would be judged if I ever showed my true self.

Enter the college years. I met a few people who physically dragged me out of the shell I had created during high school. I began to feel comfortable being a little peculiar. Eventually, I came to realize that I had true friends that were going to stand by me no matter what. In short, I learned that the only people I cared about being around were the people who accepted me for who I was. Anyone else who judged me for being me just was not worth my time.

At 24 years old I can honestly say that I am comfortable in my own skin because I do not care what other people think about me. The only opinion on myself that matters is my own, and the friends that I trust.

So to all the youth players out there, I want you to remember that it is okay to be a little different. Actually, it is a good thing to be downright strange and weird. It makes you you. Hold on to your peculiar hobbies, and odd tastes. Even if they are not appreciated by those around you right now, you will find friends in life who will appreciate you for you, weirdness and all.

Peculiar facts about me:

  • I love vacuuming
  • I watch competitive Starcraft 2 replays on YouTube
  • I am extremely goofy around my close friends
  • Science fiction is my favorite genre of literature (Dune by Frank Herbert in particular)
  • I will watch endless replays of Ninja Warrior
  • I have always wanted a flying squirrel as a pet

Players – create your own list and post them in the comments below!