Pharrell Williams seems to have reached an interesting space in life. His work as a producer and musician has allowed him to venture deep into a range of diverse projects in ways that most of us wouldn’t be able to. Like many others, I am fascinated by his life’s trajectory but more so by the projects he gets involved in, most under the banner – i am OTHER. It is defined as follows: “i am OTHER, created by Pharrell Williams, is a creative venture and way of life. We are proud to be different and believe that individuality is the new wealth. This shared philosophy flows through each pillar within the company: music, film, television, apparel, tech and multimedia.”
“If only I’d known my differentness would be an asset, then my earlier life would have been much easier.” – Bette Midler
Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? I have spent a lifetime feeling like an insider and an outsider simultaneously. I have been part of collectives, in different forms, whether it is family, friends, sports teams, etc but have often felt like an outsider. I have habitually found myself participating in something or submerged in the ‘madding crowd’ and, simultaneously watching it. Or spent time standing around the edges, looking in. Being different has often been seen as a negative but I have been fortunate to grow into the belief that there’s nothing wrong with being different.
“I would prove to you that being different isn’t a death sentence but a call to arms.” – Jodi Picoult
It is always much easier said than done when it comes to being comfortable with self. There are so many things pushing and pulling that it is a wonder that any of us finds the balance. When you are considered an outsider, words like crazy, strange and, if you are wealthy, eccentric are often used. It doesn’t have to be that way. Embrace that which makes you unique and allow that to be the vehicle through which you bring your own perspective and understanding to everything you interact with.
Be other, with peace of mind.