It’s an honor this week to have as my guest, Noelle Brani. Noelle is a senior in college, majoring in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Christian Counseling. I’m sure you’ll find Noelle’s post as interesting and thought-provoking as I did.
As I grew up, I realized some of the ways I’m different from others. I was raised in a single parent family, I’ve always been petite, and I was home schooled in a town where being home schooled was a little uncommon. Along with those differences, I was adopted. My mom made a different, bold move and chose to adopt me from Russia when I was six months old. Today, I’m still called “little one” at five feet tall, I still live in a single parent family, and I’m no longer a home schooled kid, but I’m thankful that I was.
Have you noticed the many photos young girls have posted on social media of themselves that have the hashtag “#basic” printed beside their photo? The hashtag is there to indicate how the girls feel about themselves—and/or how they want others to feel about them. They don’t want to be pointed out as being different, as in unusual or unique, only that they are “basic,” or “normal.” Being different is something that many people, young or old, seem to fear. I think it’s a sad statement that they feel they must tell the world that they are not different, that they are just like everyone else.
It’s amazing to me how our culture has changed. When I was a little girl, everyone seemed more relaxed in just being individual—being themselves. Sure, the fads and trends came and went, but people loved being themselves—you could see their individuality. And I remember being a teen and looking around me, wondering, Why is someone’s social status dependent upon the brand of jeans they wear?
How shallow our world seems to have become. I think one reason we see so much of the same type of style, whether it be shoes, or clothing, or name-brand items when we walk into a school or even a church, is because many of us, no matter our age, are genuinely afraid of being “on the outside,” or that more sensitive label, “different.”
I sit here writing this and smile, thinking back on how I’ve always been the shortest person in the group, whether in dance class or church or school activities. Even now, at twenty-one, my friends and I joke around that I’m the oldest, but the shortest person in the room. In Psalm 139:14, the Bible says, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your Works are wonderful, I know that full well.” What a blessing! To know that God not only loves us, but He designed us. All we have to do is know it and believe it.
Everywhere I go, every single day, I’m proud of girls who dare to be different. I’m proud of them because they’re accepting themselves as individuals, and thriving. They’re finding the unique qualities that make them who they are. I will forever be joining them and walking alongside them because being different is nothing to be ashamed of! Perhaps we’re not basic; maybe we all just share a little basic insecurity. Truth is, we’re all different and we’re all unique.
I’m thankful that I’ve embraced being different, and I hope you will accept being your unique self, too. God created us to be so much more than basic.
Are you accepting yourself as you are?
Noelle and I would love to have your input! Please leave a comment for us.
A little about Noelle Brani:
Noelle Brani has always enjoyed school and her dream of attending college at Liberty University began when she was five years old. Now a senior at Liberty, she’s working toward her major in Early Childhood Education and recently started her career in her minor, Christian Counseling. Noelle couldn’t be happier. Being with children is a favorite way of spending many hours of Noelle’s spare time. She has always loved to write and is excited about sharing her first post on Everyone Has A Story blog. She hopes to continue in her journey as a young writer by doing more blog posting in the future. Noelle cherishes her relationships with her friends, and is devoted to her Lord Jesus, calling Him “the most loyal Friend I have.” It says something about Noelle’s heart to include that her favorite movie is The Lion King and its memorable quote, “Remember who you are.”
Thank you, Noelle. I’ve loved working with you on your post and having you join my list of honored guest posters! May God abundantly bless you as you finish college and launch your new career in Christian Counseling.
And those of you who follow Everyone Has A Story might recognize that Noelle is the daughter of my friend and fellow writer, Sharon Brani, who was a guest here last December. It’s been a joy to have both mother and daughter as my guests.
Have a great week!