The Wrong Kind of Different

Avatar Galya Stoyanova
Member since July 15, 2014
  • 1 Post
  • Age 31

Photography Copyrights: GALYA STOYANOVA

Photography Copyrights: GALYA STOYANOVA

Today is modern to be different. Different from the crowd, to stand out, to be unique in a way. In this way you feel important, you feel special, you are “cool”. But most of people never notice one small fact. This outcome could be reached when it depends on your personal choice. When you decide to be different. And it does not apply when you are born different. This state it's a whole different story. Or as I like to call it – the wrong kind of different.

With modern technology we can change almost everything about ourselves. We can find our flaws and just remake them – skinny nose, small breasts, smile, hair, nails, face, lips. But even technology has her limits and there are things that we are born with that would never change – race, skin color, mental disabilities, physical disabilities, different sexual orientation. And exactly those kind of differences make us inconvenient for society. Then you become the opposite of “cool”. You become awkward, stupid, grows, ugly, second hand person, kind of something (not even person or human being) that got the privilege of living with the “chosen ones” without having any right. And we know how hard society could be when you are that “something” – the history proved it.

I dedicated part of my life to work with people with mental and physical disabilities, drug habits, different sexual orientation, “wrong” race and skin color. I can share many things, but someone thought me that there is nothing more powerful than your own life story.

I am born different – wrong race, wrong skin color, and many other things. When I was a kid my head was not big enough to understand why I was called “gypsy”. It sounded bad, like there was something wrong with me. And I still remember what my mother told me – “It does not mean that you are stupid, but it means that you are different and sometimes people will threat you bad because of it.”

I was devastated, I was going over and over in my mind with the possible ways how to change that perception about me. I got so wrapped up around this that I even find a reason why I am dark. Every time someone was making remark about it I was like “I went to the Black Sea and this is why I am black, but when I go now to the White Sea I will be white again!” Funny, I know.

Anyway, when you are a kid the solutions are easier. But the reality crushed me when I become a student. I was alone in a new city, didn’t know anyone. I started noticing how people look at me when I went into the public transport, when I enter the room in the university, when I enter any shop. People are looking at you like you are the world’s worst scum, they are swearing you, become angry that you exist. I felt like the whole world was lying on my shoulders. I was 7 years old all over again. Didn’t know what I was doing wrong.

From there until now I had the longest path of building my confidence as a person and actually see myself as “normal”. I have been beaten and chased by skinheads, I was offended many times, I was arrested for being “suspiciously dark”. And through the years I managed to learn to pick up the pieces left, shake off, stand up and continue fighting.

My story is one of the millions and sadly only one of the thousands with happy end. Is true I still get often sad, angry, disappointed, HURT. I still often even cry. I even wrote this because I was again angry and disappointed. Oh, and God knows I often pray for one day, just one single day in the whole year when no one will remind me that I am different, single day in which I am not hearing the “gypsy” word. But I managed to understand that is not my fault, that there is nothing wrong with me. I even managed to have fun making the guard chasing me around the shop, acting stupid in order to see what people would say or how they will act towards me, learn even how to laugh when people offend me. But many of the people who has any of those society’s inconvenient characteristics can’t get over it and live their whole life in total denial, anger and believe that they are not worth enough for anything good.

People often judge but many don’t see that the person they are judging maybe needs only one final little joggle before they fall in the abyss of their own hate. So I am asking – are you ready to be that one who will do that final joggle? Well, I forgot – You don’t care!

Because now with all the steps ahead in technology, science and every other aspect of life we could not change the one mistake we have – we just don’t care about things. Or even worse, we pretend we care, we pretend we are different but then we care only about the things we like. I call that hypocrisy.

Being different as I am may not mean happiness for many of us, especially those who realized that the world is never going to change, at least not in a good way. But at least it’s a lesson of when we need to fight and when something it’s a lost cause. Everything has it’s time and way.

Now is one of those moments, when I realized that I need to do something! Coming back to Bulgaria actually “helped” me to see clearly but also brought me back to those age of 7 that I was trying to avoid so hard. But this time I am strong and I can fight it, so I am sharing my personal story because I am not afraid of it anymore. This will be my birthday gift for myself! Hopefully in exchange of one thing – All of you to do the same. Are you different? Share with me! Show the world that you are not afraid to speak up and be who you are. Just care...

This could be funny or stupid for you, but letting go set you free. And exposing the things in you that you are so afraid of are part of the “deal”.

P.S. I want to especially thank the Bulgarians who “inspired” me to write this!

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