The Independent One

Today- I would like to share the story of something that happened over a decade ago that still has a great impact on me today. I don’t think I’ve told this story before (so humor me if I have).

I was 16 and had first period science. It was a normal class, except we had this visitor- this guy who was observing our class. That is not all that unusual at school. The lesson he decided to teach-that was a bit different.

The bell rang at the end of the class and he asked to speak to us for a moment (and at that age- it means you will sit and listen). Then- he told us what he had observed. 

He pointed to the far right side of the room and said “this side of the classroom is the cheerleaders and jocks”. He then pointed to the back left corner and said “this section has the emo kids”. And then- he pointed at me and said “but you- you’re independent.”

And in those words- I knew it was okay to be different. I knew by the way he said it- that this “independence” I had was not a bad thing, but it was often times something that was not all that fun to deal with. As a teenager- who wants to be seen as different? But I was and in a lot of ways- I am very thankful for that.

I don’t remember this mystery teacher’s name. I’m not even sure I could pick him out of a line up. But I do know this- it was on that day that I learned to embrace the part of me that was the independent one.


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