As a child, I yearned to fit in. I was short, plump, uncoordinated, shy, and inadequate at school.
I was held back in third grade, rode the bench in every sport I played. I was unspectacular in every way.
I remember a guidance counselor once told me that I would never go to college, and for several years I believed her. I trusted in the low expectations of those around me and began to set my goals so low that life became uninteresting.
Day in and day out of the robotic repetition of life seemed to be eating away at my soul, and I began to ask myself questions like this,
"If I was fearfully and wonderfully made - why would God create someone like me?"
It took a few more years to begin to peel away some of the misgivings that I had of myself and begin to see life through a different lense — actually, a spectrum of lenses.
These lenses allowed me to see beauty in all of us. A beauty that wasn't external or part of an athletic feat, but gifts and talents that were unique, creative, genius, and captivating.
And for decades, I had been ignorant of these wonders.
I realized that I felt energized when I would recognize the gifts, talents, and beauty in others. I felt the mandate that I needed to somehow, in some way, show them that they are recognized and encourage them in who they are.
We were all "fearfully and wonderfully made," and I feel commissioned to let people know that.
I know what loneliness is. I know what it is to be the last kid picked for a team. I know what it is like to be petrified every time the teacher asked me to read aloud in class. And I know what it feels like to wonder if you are good enough.
We have been fed a consistent diet of lies because of Social Media, Hollywood movies, and airbrushed magazines. We compare ourselves in every way to a phony script.
Why is depression so high in our culture? Why are celebrities and people that everyone believes have it all overdosing, addicted, or committing suicide?
It's because it is impossible to live under a shroud of perfection - because no one is perfect, and the expectation to seem so leads us into living an unauthentic life.
Life is about community. Lifting one another and recognizing the innate beauty that is a part of all of us. It's not about judging someone, but encouraging them to get up - brush off their knees and try it again.
It doesn't matter if we are five or one-hundred and five; we are all just trying to learn to ride the bike of life. Sometimes we are riding with no-hands, while other times, we need someone holding onto the seat while we are trying to pedal.
iNFable is about authenticity and acceptance - and reminding everyone that they were created beyond wonder. Regardless if you ever experience our socks - keep reminding yourself and others of their great value.
You are iNFable!
John Hendershot, founder of iNFable brand