September 21, 2013

The Extraordinary Paradox

by Bryan Johnston in Creativity, Happiness, Life0 Comments

Minute Read

I need to tell you something. Something that’s been bugging me for a while. I think you know what it is.

Why are you so afraid to be extraordinary? Why are you hiding behind everyone else when you – yes, you – were designed to be one-of-a-kind and sparkling? It pisses me off.┬áThere is nothing ordinary about you, but you hold back. You fade into the background. You dissolve. You evaporate. You’re supposed to be the chocolate syrup left over in the bottom of the cup after the milk is gone, you know.

I suppose I can’t really blame you. We are all at fault here. It’s a goddamn dilemma. We all want nothing more than to be special. Unique. The one thing that is not like the others. But we hide. We resist. And we hate ourselves for it. Why is that?

Every so often we see someone actually doing it. Too few and far between, but doing it. They rise above. Sometimes we snicker at them. Laugh at the kid dressed differently…two mismatched socks and one pant leg rolled up. We deride them as childish and trying too hard to be. But you know what? They have it right. And secretly, even though we would never admit this out loud, we envy those people. Those posers. We want to be them. In our innermost and secret corners, we can never quite fathom why we can’t be that. We want to.

It’s the paradox of our time. Really. How many of us want to be extraordinary, but don’t. We deny ourselves and those around us the most amazing parts of ourselves because, well, just because. We want to stand out, but don’t want to be singled out. We want to shine, but don’t want to attract attention to ourselves. We want to sparkle. To dazzle. To blind. But instead we blend. We mix. We dim. Why?

Imagine if we didn’t. Imagine if we all woke up tomorrow and decided, to hell with it, and just were. No more or less. Because just being you – your authentic, brilliant, shimmering self – is the most extraordinary thing in the history of forever. And we all have that light. With it comes confidence, and the joy to be you. Can you make that choice? Choose to be. Choose to dance. Laugh. Draw. Write. Create. Cry. Scream. Run. Discover. Learn. Crawl. Invent. The only rule for this new world order is that whatever you do – everything you do – must be in deference to the song inside you. Not caring. Not worried. Not concerned. I can promise you a brand new bag if you do.

We all want to, but we don’t.

You, my friend, are extraordinary. Choose to live in it. Wrap yourself in it. Drink it in. Swim in it. To do anything less is a crime on par with drowning puppies. Why hide your wings when you were born to fly? The greatest tragedy of existence is this struggle between what we are destined to be, to share, to reveal, and our resistance to just fucking do it. I know you hate yourself for it…every time you hide the flicker of that tiny flame, every time you shield it from the cruel, hard world. But you feel powerless to stop. I get that.

But here’s what you do:


Throw open the curtains and shout it out. Shine the biggest damn spotlight on it. Write it across the sky in neon pink. Carry it with you everywhere like some toy poodle in a purse. Dare to be the extraordinary, wild, and funky you. The world will thank you for it in a million different ways a million different times.

The mismatched socks are not required, but are highly encouraged.


Bryan Johnston

Former high school English lit & drama teacher. Current writer, stand-up comedian, & improv performer. A big switch? You betcha.

International expat for 12+ years with stops in Beijing, Dubai, Shanghai, & Guangzhou. Dad to a university sophomore, an eleven-month old charmer, & the two best doggos. Lover of funny things & people. Oh, and craft beer.

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