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  • Writer's pictureDylan Bowman 1165

Live Your Best Life and Floss Your Toes

By: Dylan Bowman

A Bit About the Author...and You

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You wake up in the morning, brush your teeth and pour yourself a bowl of cereal. So what? You just did the same thing as a billion other people across the world. For all I know, you could be a robot in a long line of machines destined to do the same things every day for the majority of your lifespan. What makes you so special? Why should I care who you are?

Well for one, you may instead eat breakfast first and then brush your teeth, unlike me. If so, you’re disgusting. But wait, don’t leave, that’s not the point! That makes you unique and probably cuts that billion people down by half. Maybe you listen to music first thing in the morning. Read a book. Go scuba-diving. Floss your toes. Who knows?! Only you and a select few know the real you. Only I and a select few know the real me. But that’s what makes life special.

So today, I am going to make you one of those select few and tell you a bit more about what makes me unique and different from everybody else. Old Soul As someone who grew up in the country outside a small town, I can safely say that the experiences I had growing up influenced me to become the person I am today. I come from an artistic family and that passion was passed down into my veins from my father and mother. I spent (and still do to a lesser extent due to time) hours drawing and writing stories as a kid, which eventually transformed into making videos, then short films which I still create today. Writing and videography are two of my many passions, but they are the ones that I want to cultivate further as I find a career.

But let’s rewind a minute…my passion for videography and writing isn’t the main thing that makes me unique. Sure, it singles me out in a large crowd, but I can expect several others to stand up with me when they ask for a filmmaker or writer in the room. What I believe makes me different from the masses is my old-fashioned character. I like Big Band music. Dating and friendships are serious things to me. Hand-written letters are one of my favorite ways to communicate (due to their old-fashioned and expressive nature [someone took time to write you that letter, so in my mind it means more than a text or email]).

I do my best to treat others with respect, even those I disagree with. The list goes on forever, as my entire life revolves around the morals and common sense I have learned throughout my life from numerous mentors and individuals. The fabric of this code I stand by is increasingly rare to the point where I have about four close friends who I view as brothers; everyone else sees me as just “that nice guy” who for some reason likes old music and never goes to college parties.

On the other hand, the benefit of this reality is that I have become closer to my few friends and family than I ever could have with a hundred people by my side. And here’s another bombshell: I think big friend groups are overrated and should be avoided at all costs. As I say that, I’m sure I can hear all the introverted readers cheering in agreement and the extroverts calmly punching a gaping hole in their computer screens as they ask themselves why they have even read this far. But hear me out. There is no doubt that friends are essential to the human condition, but when you have dozens and dozens of “friends” to contend with, spend time with and learn about, are you really caring about cultivating each relationship to its fullest, or are you trying to appease the mass as a whole and feel good about how “popular” you are? It is actually a scenario that played out in my life when I left public school to become homeschooled starting in 7th grade.

As soon as I left, 95% of my friend group from school fell away and never spoke to me again, even after I attempted on multiple occasions to reach out and reconnect. Strange enough, even when I saw them in public personally, the result was the same. I have heard countless other stories with similar outcomes from individuals I know, two of which are my best friends who attended public school through high school (so it has nothing to do with being homeschooled).

Something to think about. Something I think about all the time in my personal life. But can you see yet why, as an old soul, I am unique? The reason I say this to you is to show that I am an example of the possibility of living a unique life that benefits you without compromising who you truly are.

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Traditional On top of my old-fashioned forte, I am also what one might consider a “traditional student” in my education. I had never previously heard of this term, but knowing now that it means a student (in college) right out of high school, I would have to agree that I am one. As a youngster when it comes to the modern college ages, I am constantly surprised that I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree at the age of 21. Sometimes…scratch that, a lot of times I don’t feel like it’s possible that I am this close to being finished with school.

Despite my being a traditionalist student in school, I still have numerous other responsibilities, 80% of which are self-inflicted. I have several part-time odd jobs and with another new job and internship this coming term, I will have a lot of work on my plate. This alone can cause a bit of a headache, but there is always more. I am a member of the Halifax Area Historical Society Board (the youngest board member in its history), a reporter/photographer for the Knightly News Media Club at Central Penn College, a freelance videographer (Fellowship Studios), have over a million personal projects including making short films, writing books and trying to decrease the mountain of reading materials in my room and of course spend as much time as I can with my friends and family, helping with home projects whenever possible. However, none of this changes my outlook on school or life, at least not in a negative manner. Though it can be stressful at times, I simply see the number of possibilities and activities in life and use that to motivate myself to live life to its fullest.

I focus on creating new things and spending time with those I care about and love which is significantly benefited by commuting as a student from campus and having worked/saved up money for school since I was 12 years old. Though many of my friends were not doing so at the time, I can presently stand having a part-time job without being financially strained.

Advice for the Unique Folk Of all God’s works in this world, one of the most beautiful creations is the prospect that every person is unique, with their own interests, passions, purposes and ideas. If I could give any advice to those questioning who they are and whether or not being different is good, I would say pursue your goals. Love those around you and treat others as you want to be treated.

Cherish your family and friends to be truly happy, but don’t put on a mask and try to impress the masses to make yourself feel better. Living a lie not only stresses you out, but it also becomes harder to keep up with as life goes on, and it will eventually outrun you. You want your head to hit the pillow at night and feel free of doubt. You know who you are and so do your family and a couple of friends.

Conclusion You are unique. Let your ideas and goals grow; cultivate them to create wonderful things and live the best life you can. Go pour yourself a bowl of cereal before you brush your teeth…I won’t be joining you for breakfast, but that makes up a part of who you are and you should embrace it.

Maybe just do some mouthwash first.


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