I have always been a fan of self-help and personal development books. I used to hang out in the book store and read whatever I was interested in, but never bought much. Well, in comparison to what I read anyway. If you could see the numerous over-flowing bookshelves throughout my home- you'd say I bought enough. Lol ;) I like things that are educational, practical, inspiring, and motivational. My recreational reading was very different than that of my friends who were caught up in goosebumps books or something of the like. Don't get me wrong, fiction and fantasy books hold a special place in my heart as well. I would say my reading choices as well as my taste in music is rather eclectic.

     Being an only child with a very different way of thinking, I found myself feeling misunderstood a lot. I had plenty of friends that I related to in different ways and on many levels. Overall, there was always a sense of feeling like people didn't really get the full scope of me. I felt isolated in my way of thinking and there wasn't much I could do to verbalize it. I took years for me to understand myself enough to come up with an explanation as to why I felt lonely. I wasn't embracing my greatness. We all have it. It might not propel us into fame and fortune, but it is what makes us happy- what ignites passion in our souls- what makes each of us who we are. Greatness. 

     I wasn't being authentic to who I was, and yeah I could blame my adolescence or young adulthood, but it wasn't. I knew that I was smart- really smart, but I stifled it and flourished creatively and socially instead. No complaints, just recalling in hindsight. Well, it wasn't until my mid 20's that I fully began to embrace the nerd inside. I love to read. I love science and math...especially science though. I love it to the point that I study physics for fun. I'm serious. I geek out so hard when anything science related comes up in conversation. There are so many Albert Einstein quotes that changed my outlook forever, and one from Emerson that resonated so deep it changed the way I live my life. He said: “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance 

     I love the people he named and they ideas for which they stood. They were so knowledgeable and as mentioned- highly misunderstood. To be great is to be misunderstood. It reminded me of so many Einstein quotes, but one in particular that says “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”. These two quotes in combination helped me to fully embrace the intellectual side of myself as well a release any fear of not being accepted for it. Greatness leaves clues. People who embody their true selves are universally aligned with their unlimited potential and with this comes an obligation to let other know that they can also become great. Helping to foster each others' talents will propitiate greatness. 

     One of the easiest way to expand your self-awareness is to read. Don't ever be afraid to let go of old ideas or beliefs based on new information. People are meant to grow, expand, and change. Allow it. When people become resistant to information simply because it goes against preconceived notions or their personal experience they ultimately limit their life experience. Taking in opposing point of views can expand compassion and understanding while eliminating fear or violent opposition. I encoring reading of all types and pleasure reading is amazing; however, every so often try something out of your comfort zone. Life begins just outside that area of comfort..that area where risks become reality and reward is sweet. Your source of passion is the same source of your genius. Again, I'm reminded of another quote by my favorite astrophysicist that says "everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid". Embrace your gift and be great.