Struggle: The Bridge To Success by Malorie Bournazian

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Growing up I’ve always felt different. When I say “different”, I don’t mean because of one specific thing, I just truly never fit in. I never really had an “inside voice” and often times was reprimanded for my energy. I struggled with accepting my body and the fact that I never looked like my friends. While most kids my age wanted to hang out with friends or go to parties, I often opted to attend community events or volunteer. I never quite understood why being “different” was a put down and why I could never be a normal teenager. Honestly I can’t count the infinite times I questioned my worth and came home in tears because all I wanted was to just be normal. As my senior year and graduation came around I soon realized I never had “normal” high school experiences and was quite nervous about college. It quickly hit me that moving into a dorm with 500 other students my age would be my last hope of finding normalcy as a teen.

After about two weeks of living in the dorms I quickly found myself questioning what is normal? But more than that, why on earth do I want to change myself and stop doing the things I love just to “fit in”? The truth is, I still don’t fit in, I still struggle with insecurities and bullying, but one thing that won’t change is my worth because I am the only person who gets to determine who I am and the person I desire to become.

In September I had the most life changing experience of attending and presenting at the #Digital4Good conference held at Google. This conference changed everything for me, in more ways than one. After all the presenters spoke on their passions and projects, we all came to the same realization: No success comes without struggle. For example, its quite uncommon to find a passionate anti-bullying activist who was never bullied, why? Because bullying victims seeking help can’t relate to someone who was never bullied. Each of us constantly face our own individual battles, whether it be with bullying, mental health, or insecurities, we all have hit “bottom” at some point. The thing that sets us apart is how we handled our breaking points. We chose to take these negative experiences and do good for good. Instead of giving up we stood up and helped others going through what we did. No success story comes without a purpose and for us our purpose was to help those that needed it the most.

The next time you’re struggling, just think, how many people are facing a challenge similar to mine and can we come together to create success? Every negative situation can be made positive if you think of it as a learning experience. It’s okay to be different, actually its fantastic to be different because what being different really means is being unique. Take your differences and struggles and instead of searching for normalcy, create your own success story.

Love Always,

Malorie

Triveni Patel