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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.