A proud woman of short stature walked across the hallways of the Ateneo. She was like no other as curious eyes continued to gaze at her. Everyone agreed that she was a sunflower in a garden of roses and orchids. With a finely tailored white uniform, she delightfully strutted towards her next class. No matter how different she may look from all the others, she believes that she is just like the rest of the people around her.
Thyra Navarro is a second year BS Marketing student. She has been in the prestigious halls of the Ateneo since her senior high school years and has warmly embraced the community which continues to accept her for who she is.
“As a person, I find myself very approachable and friendly. I am also getting more and more responsible because I chose to have leadership positions in school,” she said with a warm grin on her face.
Currently the Overall Talents Head of the Business and Management Student Executive Council and Executive Secretary of the Ateneo Marketing Club, Thyra has caught the attention of many who think that her leadership roles are too much to handle. Nonetheless, she decided to take up the positions and pour her heart out into her newfound responsibilities.
As a Talents Head, Thyra is no stranger to having her own form of talent: dancing. For several times in the past, she has performed on the wide stage of the Martin Hall. Be it in a school fiesta group dance competition or an intermission number for PE Day, she enjoys being in the limelight.
“My main passion is dancing. Parang yun ang ma-ibuga ko sa lahat ng tao na hindi ako mahiya. Let’s say that kahit anong klaseng sayaw ang magawa ko because confident naman din ako in the first-place. I’ve been dancing as far back as when I was three-years-old, so part na siya ng life ko,” she stated.
Though she recently took a break from dancing to focus more on her duties as a student leader, she confessed that the fire inside of her still burns on as that of charcoal continuously being placed in a train engine’s furnace.
“There’s a feeling of satisfaction when I’m physically tired from doing what I love. I miss that kind of feeling. After all, it’s a different kind of tiredness when it comes to your passion,” she expressed.
Throughout society, there are people who are considered different from the rest. It could be a physical or mental quirk that would make them unique individuals. As for Thyra, she is well-aware of the fact that she is physically different. Dwarfism is a rare medical condition that puts a person affected by it to be characteristically small in size. Some persons would usually refer to them as “little people.”
“I’m actually thankful of who I am o kung ano man ang nasa akin. Even when people admire me, ma-flatter din ako nang kaunti, pero ginacontinue ko parin ang ginagawa ko,” she stressed.
Over the years, Thyra has learned to overcome the judgmental tendencies of strangers. Seldom bullied for her appearance, she knows that part of cultivating her self-love is keeping a strong spirit.
“Ang ginasabi lang sa akin ng mga parents at friends ko is to ‘ignore them’, and so gina-ignore ko rin sila. I understand na baka first time nila akong makita. There are these people na at first di ka kilala or pinapansin, but once you get to know them, magiging close rin kayo,” she explained.
For Thyra, it takes time to truly get to know someone. People may start viewing others differently, and having first impressions or hasty judgments may be inevitable. This only challenges us to be more open-minded and more understanding of others, for not everyone shares the same background and the same struggles.
“May mga times din na you don’t have to adjust to what other people want or expect of you. Sometimes you just have to be ‘you’. It may take time, but eventually ma-appreciate ka rin ng ibang tao,” she emphasized.
More often than not, we get to encounter other individuals who may not look or think like us. Thyra, being one of those unique individuals, is a living proof of how we don’t always have to blend in just to feel appreciated. Even when we are different from the rest, we may still continue to inspire by constantly appreciating who we are and making the most of what we have.
With a final look behind her, Thyra confidently smiles at the fixed eyes staring at her and the faint whispers of other students. Proud of who she is, she finally opens the door to her next class and moves forward.