“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

Maya Angelou

During my sophomore year of high school, amidst the whirlwind of pop quizzes and teenage drama, Mr. Pool, my English teacher, casually remarked, “Normal is overrated.” At the time, I just nodded, but it turns out he was onto something far more profound.

You see, “normal” is a setting on a washing machine, not a benchmark for human existence. And if we’re being honest, who aspires to be a washing machine? Well, unless it’s one of those fancy ones with the steam cycle and a built-in espresso maker. But I digress.

Imagine if Picasso had said, “I think I’ll just stick to stick figures.” Or if Beethoven had thought, “Maybe I’ll just play ‘Chopsticks’ for the rest of my life.” The world would be a far less colorful and melodious place.

Now, I’m not saying you have to paint a masterpiece or compose a symphony. But maybe, just maybe, you could wear a quirky tie to a formal event. Or sing in the shower like you’re auditioning for the opera. Or perhaps take up beekeeping as a hobby. Why? Because it’s delightfully abnormal, and you might just discover a talent you never knew you had.

But here’s a little secret: while it’s fun to embrace the quirky and the eccentric, it’s not the only path to authenticity. Take beige, for instance. It’s safe, unassuming, and blends seamlessly into the background. Yet, if beige genuinely resonates with you, then it’s as authentic as any neon hue or wild pattern. The real magic isn’t necessarily in standing out, but in the authenticity with which you present yourself. Whether you’re rocking a beige cardigan or a sequined jumpsuit, it’s not about the statement you make, but the truth behind it. It’s about being unapologetically you—quirks, subtleties, and all.

So, the next time you feel the pressure to fit in, to be just another face in the crowd, remember that it’s the quirky, the odd, and the wonderfully weird that make the world an interesting place. Embrace your inner oddball. After all, normal is overrated, and you, my friend, are destined for amazing.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.