Remember that you are different

[about Earth’s people] Why am I so different from them?

Earth’s sun is younger and brighter than Krypton’s was. Your cells have drunk in its radiation, strengthening your muscles, your skin, your senses. Earth’s gravity is weaker, yet its atmosphere is more nourishing. You’ve grown stronger here than I ever could have imagined. The only way to know how strong, is to keep testing your limits.

-From the movie “Man of Steel”

I struggled a lot when I just came to Singapore, at age 13, to pursue an education. My standard of English was at P4/P5 standard, yet my Chinese standard was 4-5 years beyond my level. I was 95 kg and 165cm tall. I was an odd ball among my peers.

I didn’t understand why I had to work so hard at things that others understood so easily, and had to be bored out of my mind when it came to Chinese lessons.

I didn’t understand why my classmates could hang out after school at MacDonalds, while I had to fight for my life in my Track and Field CCA.

I didn’t understand why I was such an awkward gigantic teenager, who couldn’t find fashionable clothes to wear.

I couldn’t come to terms with why my parents uprooted me from my comfort zone of Chinese schools in Malaysia, and drop me into such a challenging environment of a Singapore elite school.

Whenever I felt like giving up, my father would tell me, son, you’re not like one of them (referring to my peers).

I think what he was trying to tell me was that, I came from a background that is so different from my peers, so don’t compare myself with others.

Or maybe he meant that I have my own destiny, my own thoughts, my own path.

Somehow, every time I heard these words, I felt energized. I felt ready to fight on again.

As I grew up, I realize that all of us are different, even if our upbringing or our education was the largely the same. It is because each of us have a unique mind. A unique personality.

You have unique ideas and aspirations. Remember that you are different.

Bring it out to the world, be it through writing, blogging, talking or doing something.

May this sharing bring you strength, as my father’s words did for me.


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