In my eyes, I am just like anyone else.

I eat too much chocolate for my own good.

I sing at the top of my lungs when no one is around.

I got through school with average grades and lots of doctor’s notes.

I’m between a size 7.5 and 8.

I Netflix binge as a form of procrastination.

I don’t cook much, but eat like a monster.

I’ve experienced loss, regret, hope and renewal.

I love real, authentic human connections.

I love getting to know people, their history, struggles, hopes and dreams.  

Even amidst smiling faces, I sometimes feel alone and misunderstood.

I look for quiet corners to get moments of respite.

I struggle every day to ‘lean in’, speak my mind and be heard.

Yet I won’t ever really 'be normal'.  I will always stand out. Whether or not I like it.  Whether or not I want to be in the spotlight.  Whether or not I invite questions, assumptions, admiration, judgement, curiosity, expectations.  All of it.  Because of who I am, where I come from, what I wear.  I will always be different.  Never normal.  Never blended in.  Never able to fully go unnoticed.  As much as I crave to be in that quiet corner of solitude, admiring the social butterflies of the world from a far (they always have something so charming to say!), I sometimes feel that I always have to work extra hard to simply be considered ‘normal’, whatever that ’normal’ standard is.  

My inner logic is telling me this: why the heck am I putting so much thought, time and effort into convincing others that I am just like them?  

I am who I am because of my deficiencies and flaws, values and beliefs, lived experiences and choices. 

I was not meant to live a life hidden behind the shadows, living through others and just blending in.

I was born to be me.  To be Batoul.  In all my craziness, fun and oddities, I am me.

“You were born with potential.

You were born with goodness and trust.

You were born with ideals and dreams.

You were born with greatness.

You were born with wings.

You are not meant for crawling.

You have wings.


~ RUMI ~

Ali Batoul Creatives Photography