#DareToBe Different | Between the Headphones 7

January 4, 2017


I know I’m different.


I also know a few people who either aren’t going to understand what I’m about to share and others that won’t agree with me. This is my story and how I have felt for as long as I can remember.  


I’m convinced I came out of the womb with a basketball in my hands. It was a gift I was beyond lucky to discover and even luckier that I loved it as much as I do. From the fourth grade on, I played competitively on every team possible: basketball, volleyball, softball, and soccer. 


Athleticism was my thing. 


I was the epitome of what was referred to at the time as a “tom-boy”. Because, you know, girls weren’t supposed to be good at these things, much less love them the way I did/do. Every weekend there was at least one game or tournament I played in. One would think I would have a lot of friends with all of these teams. 


Yeah, we were teammates. 


I don’t really think so… 


What does that really mean for a kid that didn’t feel like they fit in?  

What does friends mean for someone that felt different from such a young age? 


Don’t take that the wrong way, please. 

By different, I don’t mean better. 

I mean different than what the norm was that I felt surrounded by. 


Could I have had friends that I hung out with outside of practices or games? 

Ok, I had a few. 

Two that come to mind immediately.  


Two friends from when I was 5 years old until I was 18 that I can vividly remember. 


I don’t know how or why…I just know, like I’ve been saying, I am different. 


I used to hate it. 

I remember what it felt like on Monday’s hearing all the giggles about the sleepover all the cool kids had after our game. I remember how I felt pretending like it didn’t bother me or even better yet, claiming ignorance and pretending like it didn’t happen.  


Don’t get me wrong; I had a great childhood. 

But I have known that I am different for a VERY long time. 


I don’t hate it anymore. 

What makes me feel different drives me every single day to grow and get better. To push myself and face my fears. I want to achieve and do things no one else has before. In order to do that I need to embrace this voice that I have heard deep down inside of me for so long, which brings me to tears just typing/thinking about it, because it scares me. 


The unknown of what tomorrow could bring and the fear of failure… 


But I am beyond determined to continue to push and strive to define my purpose in order to make a positive lasting impact, because that’s what this little voice has been trying to scream at me for years. 


I hope you can take this as more than just words and find the courage to listen to your little voice and #DareToBe,


-dj Shawna

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