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Mother’s around the world unite on this saying: If all your friends jump off a cliff, would you?

And teenagers around the world with sarcastic remarks like: Mom, if all my friends jump off a cliff it’s because it was my idea. I’m a leader, not a follower.

As amusing at all that is, the real truth is peer pressure is something that occurs everyday in all walks of life. No, I’m not going to get up on my high horse and talk about how peer pressure is bad. We all know it is. You don’t need me reminding you about that. But, in my years, I’ve discovered one tried and true way to avoid being affected by it.

I simply don’t care what the rest of the world has to think or say about me.

Yea, that’s easier said than done. And sometimes I find myself concerned that someone thinks I’m stupid, or ignorant, or boring, or ugly, or whatever. Sometimes I get caught up in other people’s opinions of me. It’s easy to get sucked into that loop. Well, if this person thinks/says this about me, what about the rest of them?

At the end of the day, those people are not me. They don’t have to make the same decisions I have to make everyday. Therefore these people don’t have any real idea of who I am. So why should I care if they go home and talk about the crazy cat lady that won’t go do the thing that everyone else is doing?

Ultimately, I think I am happier than these people in the end. I can be fulfilled by going home after a long day, getting into my PJs and watching Netflix with my cats and writing in my blog. I don’t need to go do the thing that everyone else is doing.

Indeed, more often than not I have no idea what the thing that everyone is doing actually is. I didn’t know cat bearding was a thing until New Years Eve. I did try to cat beard, but my Ezio was not interested in playing along.

I’m usually late to the latest trends, the latest news, the latest whatever it is. I’m busy spending my life living for me and not living for the rest of the world.

Perhaps that who I have always been. I’ve never been interested in what the latest thing was in school. I never cared about the coolest sitcom. To this day I can say I’ve never seen an episode of Friends.

Take a moment for you to pick yourself up from the floor. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

I just don’t do things simply because everyone else is doing them. I do things because they sound like a good time to me, not because someone else wants me to do it.

Oh, come on! It’ll be fun! All the cool kids are doing it!

Well, I was never a “cool kid.” I was the nerd in the back of class that didn’t say much because usually the things I would say and do would be stupid anyway, and even if they weren’t they’d get made fun of. Overtime I just stopped trying to impress them, those people who made fun of me. I embraced the fact that I was different. Instead of hiding it, I flaunted it. I wore ridiculous shirts to school, I said ridiculous things, I put my hair into ridiculous styles. I enjoyed the fact that people thought I was weird. In college I dyed my hair ridiculous colors just because I could. Why not? Let your freak flag fly!

There’s too much pressure to “fit in,” and “be cool.”

The coolest thing you can be is you. Be you for who you are. Be you for who God made you to be.

And you, the bully that makes fun of the weird kid, stop it. Seriously.

This is my peer pressure to the bullies: All the cool kids are smart. All the cool kids watch Sci-Fi/Fantasy and look up at the stars and imagine living on Mars. You have iPhones because of the nerd in the back of class that watched Star Trek. GPS, the Internet, laptops, digital cameras, hell even Velcro is because of the nerd in the back of class. You’re welcome.

This post has been submitted to January 2014 NaBloPoMo. NaBloPoMo is a month-long challenge to post once a day on your blog, hosted by Blogher. Each month has its own theme. January’s theme is “pressure.”

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