The Courage To Be Different

by Nicole Calvano, MA, LPCC, E-RYT 200

November 11, 2017

At 5 years old, my family joined a swim club. I “decided” that I knew how to swim and insisted on taking the swim test, which meant I would have to swim all the way to the deep end. Despite my mom’s insistence that I didn’t know how to swim, I convinced her and the life guard to let me try. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I couldn’t do it. With the life guard’s help, I got out of the pool, but not without making a brazen declaration: “By the time the summer ends, not only will I pass the swim test, but I will also jump off the high diving board!” Despite the seeming outrageousness of my declaration, before Labor Day that season, wearing my very official “deep end certified bracelet,” I climbed the stairs of the diving board, looked out at the lifeguards, waved to my mom, and leapt into the air, falling 10 feet before splash landing.

That same bold, brave, and stubborn kid also grew up believing that she was "too serious and too sensitive," that there was something inherently wrong with her that needed to be "fixed."

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