One academy awards speech that stuck with me this year was Michael Moore’s. He shared how at 16 he nearly committed suicide because he felt different, weird, and didn’t fit in. Many students have felt the same at one time or another, myself included.

I played sports with the boys and wasn’t afraid to get dirty. I wrote my stories or poetry during lunchtime and I’m fairly certain I was the only 17-year-old listening to Julio Iglesias on their bright red tape player with matching head phones. Lol!

A high school teacher told me to use a real job on my resume instead of romance writer. I’m certain I wasn’t alone. Even today when kids share their dreams, they’re oftentimes shot down or made fun of because their aspirations seem unrealistic or not what their parents have planned.

They fool themselves into fitting in, or become convinced their passion isn’t important, or is stupid, so try to fit in. Don’t create waves. Be like everyone else.

Go to college, get a good job, and climb the corporate ladder and you’ll be successful and happy. Sound familiar?

While it might work for some, it certainly doesn’t work for all. Although people share similarities, we’re diverse and have something unique to share and we should NEVER forget it. Those who don’t fit the mold shouldn’t feel inferior because they want something else. They’re different and different is NOT a bad word.

Besides, what happens when people don’t live their passion? They become zombies!

Not the flesh eaters you see on TV, but those who are going through the motions. Their gazes vacant and hallow, the joy of their dreams sucked from their bodies and lives each day, week, or year they aren’t doing what they love.

If you’ve noticed your child becoming a zombie, don’t pull out the shot-gun and blow their dreams away. Why not encourage them to pursue their dreams no matter how crazy or bazar.

What about you? Have you become a zombie yourself? Put down those brains! (Sorry I couldn’t resist.) Remember what excites you and made you human. Take one step each day towards your passion and I guarantee your joy will return. Soon, you won’t mind being weird and different. The rest of us weirdos will welcome you back!

Are you a zombie or are you living your passion? What step