What Being ‘Rare’ Means to Me


“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”  — Dr. Steve Maraboli

What goes around comes around. I truly believe if you put good out into the world, it will come back to you in one way or another. It can be so difficult to go day by day and feel like nothing good ever comes to you. Nothing ever happens as quickly as we would like, but I do believe our individual challenges have ways of working themselves out. Whether you are religious or not, no matter what you believe in, I believe that in the end, everything will fall into place as it should — that is, if we have the patience to wait long enough. I’ve always somehow ended up in the right place at the right time, and time and time again, I realize everything happens for a reason.

The whole time I’ve been sick, I have thought to myself, “What would I say if I had five minutes left to live and knew that every person I’ve crossed paths with could hear my thoughts?” The thinking in the shower, the thoughts that go through my head as I strum my guitar — my realizations that despite everything, I have ended up exactly where I am supposed to be.

You don’t want to live life constantly searching for the “better tomorrows.” If you live each day only thinking about what you would do if the day had been better to you, before you know it, you may discover that life has passed you by. If you make it a point to find just one good thing that happened, maybe you will discover that there really is light at the end of your dark tunnel.

One of the parts I appreciate most about living with a chronic illness and having so many close friends with chronic illnesses is that I don’t leave words left unsaid. I tell my friends I love them every chance I get, because in the back of my mind I always ask myself if I would be happy with my words if they were my last words to a dear friend.

brynn duncan
Brynn and her service dog.

I am not walking the path I would have chosen for myself. I am a rare breed of human who can’t be found just anywhere. I smile in the face of a challenge and don’t fear diversity the way many women my age do. My body is flawed in more ways than can be counted, but I no longer try to hide my differences. At the end of the day, all anyone wants is to find happiness in all the dark shadows of the world. If my little voice can play a part in paving the way for all my fellow rare warriors, I know each of my days are playing out exactly as they should. I will never fit in with the cookie-cutter persona our society seems to expect women to uphold, but for the first time in my life, I am perfectly OK with that.

Follow this journey on Brynn’s Bubble.

The Mighty is asking the following: Tell us one thing your loved ones might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. What would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.