I was at a party in Los Angeles in the late 1990s.  As I approached the food table, there was a man standing there.  He had several piercings in his face:  eyebrows, nose, everywhere.  He also had one in his tongue and tho, he thpoke with a lithp.  He said “How are you?” and I said I was very tired from a long day at work.  He said, “Oh, me too.”  I wondered what kind of job someone who looked like him could have, so I asked what he did.  To my surprise, he said, “I’m a freelance civil engineer.”  My jaw must’ve dropped because he then said, “Oh, I know.  Who would hire someone who looks like me, right?”  I nodded, trying not to look too naïve about it.  He pointed to his face.  “This is who I am and I’m not going to compromise.  I knew nobody would want to hire someone who looks like me, so I worked my ass off to be the best there is.  The city of Los Angeles is one of my clients.  I get so many requests I have to turn down work now.” 

To anyone who doesn’t fit the “conventional looking 9-to-5 mold” but worries it may hinder them in life:  this just shows what you can accomplish if you have talent, determination, and persistence.  It’s a harder road to follow but the payoff is sweeter, too.

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