You’re Not The Black Sheep Of Your Family, You’re The Unicorn

What would happen if you rebranded “black sheep”?

Vivian Nunez


I am the first in my family to do a lot of things that I find important, but that they view as weird. I’m the first to go to therapy. I’m the first to work for myself. I’m the first to have moved across the country (and back again).

Breaking through old beliefs in order to become the first to do all of these things proved to be really uncomfortable and isolating. I don’t think that when I did the first thing that defined me as a “black sheep,” that I truly understood that it wouldn’t be the last. I thought I was just going to therapy. I thought each individual decision lived in a vacuum, when in reality they all actually created the foundation for the person I wanted to proudly live life as.

The term “black sheep” feels defined by a specific moment in a person’s life and, upon real reflection, it’s what the family uses to label that person who now feels like an outsider and what inherently that person was taught to label themselves. But, just like the thing you decided to do that earned you that title in their eyes, you can step outside of the norm again. You can refuse to call yourself a black sheep just because you’re doing things you find important that they may view as weird.

I’ve decided on calling myself a unicorn instead of a black sheep.

My decisions aren’t shameful. The life I choose to build in order to be healthy, peaceful, and happy, is more aligned with the shimmers of a unicorn than the shadows of a black sheep.

Owning the reality of being different opens up the possibility for deeper creative freedom and creative peace. You don’t feel as performative or as tied to imposter syndrome. You actually end up feeling more aligned to telling your truth and owning your story, and doing so proudly.

How we’re perceived is always a complicated, layered process, that we don’t always have control over. But when it comes to the narrative we use to describe ourselves? That has always been ours to own.

I write about creativity, mental health, grief, and how to cope with life’s everyday challenges on Listen to my weekly podcast, Happy To Be Here.

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