How Do You Tell Your Story Without Being Defined By It?
It’s not uncommon for people who have disabilities, or dealt with tragedies and other life-altering experiences to want to move forward and just “be normal.” Children who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling are often heard expressing this feeling of not wanting to be known as “the kid who lost his mom.” Many times in life, we see our weirdness through the eyes of the people around us, not really knowing that most everyone feels weird or different, or somehow not “normal” at some point in their lives.
Brian Schulman was sure he was weird, sure he didn’t fit in as he was growing up, partly because he had been born premature and had related health issues, and partly because he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome in his pre-teen years. He definitely stood out with his tics and quirky physical movements, and being bullied didn’t help at all with his internal messages of being different.
The beauty, though, of each of us having those negative experiences is that they help us make a choice between adding to the sadness and aggressiveness in the world around you, or making a positive difference so those around you never feel like you did. That’s how Brian chose to live his life. He intentionally became a person others wanted to be around, he made sure the people around him felt good about themselves, felt like they could BE themselves.
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