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Friday, April 24, 2015

Being Different

Throughout most of my life, I've struggled with the idea that I need to fit in somewhere.  That I need to be just like everyone else I know and love.  I'm not sure when I developed that feeling.  Or why I've felt like it is important for so much of my life.  I wish I could figure out why I felt like fitting in would fix all my problems.  But, that would require me focusing on the past which I try to not do anymore.  

I was visiting with my Aunt last weekend and I just love the conversations we have.  They are honest.  In a good way.  It's more of that outside perspective that I need to figure things out about myself, my life and more.  Lots of things she says stick with me in lots of ways but one I've been thinking about a lot since I got home on Monday.  

"It's okay to be different.  You just have to be okay with being different."

I think that might define everything I have done over the last 2+ years and all that I continue to work towards every day.  

For reasons that I will probably never completely understand, finding my niche, what I am good at, why I am here, etc., has been something I have really struggled with throughout my life.  I was never okay with being different than the people I was closest to.  I didn't have the confidence to believe that was okay.  

I do now.  The driving force that started all of this is my mother.  My mom is the greatest person anyone could ever hope to meet.  Her support in and love for me has never wavered throughout my life.  (Although there were probably more than a few times I would have deserved that).  No matter what happens, what I do or what I am struggling with, I know she will always back me 100%.  I could never ask for any greater blessing in my life.  

Albeit slowly, I have started to figure out that being different is okay.  That's actually probably one of the first lessons I learned when I started this journey to a happier and healthier me.  I just didn't know if I was okay with it.  

But, hey, why shouldn't I be okay with it?  Differences are what makes this world what it is.  It's how we learn from each other.  Differences make friendships, relationships, etc everything they are to so many people.  To me as well.

Why wouldn't I want to be different???  Know what?  I do.  I want to have unique qualities.  I want to bring things to friendships and relationships that might not exist otherwise.  Ask anyone, I have a memory like you wouldn't believe.  And, it's kinda fun when no one else remembers something and my brother looks at me and says," just ask the walking encyclopedia".  That's a characteristic that's unique to me in our family.  And with most of my friends. Something that I've learned to cherish about myself.  I'm not an athlete.  But my brother and sister are.  And that's okay.  I can run around and have fun and laugh at myself when I make a klutzy move.  I don't have to be super coordinated to be accepted in my family.  It took me awhile to figure that out but it feels amazing.

I've discovered many people think I'm funny.  I never would have used that word to describe myself.  Probably because I didn't like myself very much.  Now, I like being described that way.

Deep down, I've always known I'm the "different" one in my family and it's always been difficult for me.  It took me so long to see that being "different" is the greatest blessing I could ever ask for in my life.  And, finally, I'm learning how to be okay with it.

Being different is a gift.  And one that I will not take for granted anymore.  I will be proud of who I am.  It's taken so long for me to get here.  And I know, especially for me, it will be a daily struggle.  But, just realizing that different isn't a bad thing .... well, I can't think of a greater gift in the world.

Being called different is like being called limited edition.  Meaning you're something people don't see that often.  Remember that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What If?

Sometimes I just see things and they spark something that reminds of pieces of the journey I've been on for a little over 2 years.  Today, it was a quote someone shared on Facebook.  It goes like this -

Have you ever just stopped and realized that 
if you hadn't met a certain person in your life, 
your life would be completely different?

This probably happens more than any of us realize.  Think about it.  How many people have you met, mostly by chance or random circumstances, that have profoundly impacted your life in one way or another?  If I really think about it, this has probably happened to me in more ways than even I realize.  But, there are a couple of people that truly stand out and who I feel this quote really describes in my life.  

The first one would be my friend (and current co-worker) Kira.  Without her, I honestly don't think I would have found my way to my job at Fairfield, met so many amazing people who have truly become some of my best friends and found a job that I really enjoy going to each and every day.  How many people are lucky enough to be able to say that?  I'm not sure but, thankfully, I am one of them.  It's hard to imagine where I would be if I hadn't been lucky enough to meet her, establish a friendship and explore the curiosity I had when she mentioned there was an opening at Fairfield.  

I'm not sure I can count my family in this category since I didn't really meet them by chance.  But, I will say, I am one lucky girl to have the amazing people I do in my life who love me unconditionally.  Because, let's be honest, I have had more than my fair share of times when I haven't been all that lovable....  And, my relationship with my brother and the fact that I know he would do anything for me leads me to the next person - 

I've mentioned her a few times - my friend Renee'.  If you ask her, she will tell you that everything I've accomplished in the last 2 years is all me.  However, I really believe that if I hadn't met her when I did and immediately felt what happens when someone from the outside truly cares and takes an interest in you from the start, I don't believe I would have found the success I have been lucky enough to experience.  Yes, her knowledge about everything related to fitness and nutrition were the greatest blessings I could have ever asked for in my life when I was trying to figure out how to live a healthy lifestyle.  However, I think the main factor was that I felt like someone actually believed I was capable of achieving great things in life. She took so much time to break down my walls.  Truthfully I do not know where I would be in life had I not had the privilege of meeting, getting to know and becoming friends with this person who really just the sees great things in every person she meets.  How many people do you know that are actually like that?  I don't know that many.  Very few, in fact.  Laughing at myself became something we had in common, even over text message.  Still is.  I can't think of many other people who can/would take the time to teach a person about food, tolerate (and laugh at) the many pictures from the grocery store as I try to find certain foods (still happens), deal with the insecurities I feel about what I am capable of on many levels, and so much more.  More than I could ever list.  I'm the person I am today because of our friendship.  And I'm thankful every day for that blessing.

Because, truthfully, if nothing else, I've definitely discovered that I inherited more of the Mulvey genes than I ever thought and I have many entertaining thoughts at various times.  As more of this piece of my personality comes out, I see more of my mom and my hilarious aunts in me.  And I can't think of anyone else I would want to take after in this life,  

Life is all about time, events, and the people who make all of the time we have here worthwhile.  Although it took me awhile to find the people I want/need in my life, I do believe it all happens for a reason and when it's supposed to.  Somewhere, there is a plan.  For everyone.  Keep the faith.  Honestly, I'd lost mine.  And I'm so thankful to have found it again.